Last month, Trung Tâm Asia released their latest DVD, Asia 82 “Tình Khúc Phạm Đình Chương – Mộng Dưới Hoa”, highlighting the life and music of songwriter Phạm Đình Chương. With Asia’s success with past shows profiling songwriters such as their “Tác Giả & Tác Phẩm” series (Asia 7, 19, 40 & 69), Asia 52 “Huyền Thoại Lê Minh Bằng”, Asia 74 “Trúc Phương – Ông Hoàng Dòng Nhạc Bolero”, and of course the highly successful Asia 50 “Nhật Trường Trần Thiện Thanh”, Asia has continued this tradition now with songwriter Phạm Đình Chương.
The theme of Asia 82 was very good, in concept: the show’s program was cleverly divided into sections to reflect the different themes in Phạm Đình Chương’s life and career, and visually the stage and choreography showed great improvements. On the other hand, the show felt a little short, consisting of only 20 songs. Asia’s many new talents definitely put forth much effort, however it is also evident that the new singers, while having potential, do not yet have the experience to deliver these songs to their fullest. In addition, nearly one third of the songs used old arrangements from previous Asia videos, including “Hội Trùng Dương”, “Mộng Dưới Hoa”, “Đêm Cuối Cùng”, and “Tiếng Dân Chài”, among others. While some arrangements are still pleasant to listen to, some also sound very dated and gives the sense that not much time was put into trying to create new arrangements for all songs in the show.
On a good note, there were still a number of standout performances. Diễm Liên’s performance of “Quê Hương Là Người Đó” was exactly what you would expect from the singer – dynamic and emotional from start to finish. Thế Sơn poured his soul into “Anh Đi Chiến Dịch” and Hồ Hoàng Yến delivered an appropriately somber performance of “Nửa Hồn Thương Đau”. Asia, having experienced many challenges in the past couple of years, are capable of success, but also continue to find a balance between the “new” Asia of today and the Asia of years past.
Asia 82 is currently available on DVD. ORIGINAL copies can be purchased at your local Vietnamese music store, online at www.asiaeshop.com or on Asia’s new streaming service Asia VIP Club (also at www.asiaeshop.com).