Nonsense V-pop songs outrage fans

By Hoang Nguyen   December 18, 2022 | 08:42 pm PT
Nonsense V-pop songs outrage fans
A screenshot of singer Phi Phuong Anh (C) in her music video for "Cam Sung Ai Dung Cam Sung Em".
Vietnamese listeners are lambasting local pop stars for nonsense lyrics and inappropriate content in their recent releases.

The lyrics of "Cam Sung Ai Dung Cam Sung Em" (You Can Cuckhold Anyone But Me) by singer Phi Phuong Anh is an example.

"Cuckolding can neither be created or destroyed. It only moves from one person to another. You can cuckold anyone but don’t cuckold me."

Music producer VirusS called the lyrics unacceptable and has asked audiences to stop sharing poorly written songs that attack the tastes of youth culture and lower local music industry standards.

A recent song skewered is Hoang Yen Chibi’s "U! Em Xin Loi" (Ok! I’m Sorry). Listeners questioned the meaning and message of the repetitive chorus "You want to break up? Not that easy" and "Sit down, sit down, sit down."

"Anyone has a clue what she’s trying to deliver in this song?" user Ngoc Yen commented on YouTube. "She should put more effort into her songwriting. I think she can do better than this."

Some other V-pop songs have been criticized for their inappropriate content.

Singer Chi Pu’s singles "Black Hickey" and "Sashimi" were criticized for being sexually suggestive and glorifying workplace affairs. After that, Chi Pu announced she won’t be releasing new music anytime soon and even canceled her plan for a debut album.

According to musician Nguyen Van Chung, perfection in music comes when everything about a song is true and beautiful. That includes melody, lyrics, meaning and title, he said.

Composer Nguyen Minh Cuong told Thanh Nien Newspaper he was worried about the future of popular music in his homeland.

"It’s true that a series of songs have been criticized for their ridiculous and meaningless lyrics," he said. "Of course, the bad songs will fade away soon, but if we don't raise awareness among young people, they will easily become a trend. Social networks often create trends for trashy songs, and the more absurd the song, the easier it is to get noticed, which eventually poisons both the music industry and public tastes," he argued.

Of course, there are two sides to every coin. This year has also showcased creativity, passion and great artistic effort in many new music releases.

Hoang Thuy Linh’ new album "Link", which infuses modern instruments with traditional Vietnamese music, received laudatory reviews from domestic and international critics.

"Links most convincing moments arrive when sonic experimentation matches lyrical conceit. Hoang Thuy Linh’s playful navigation of Vietnam past and present, something central to her art, exists even here," wrote Pitchfork, one of the world’s most influential music criticism websites.

Singer Phung Khanh Linh also surprised everyone when she put out "Citopia", an album that focuses on city pop, a popular urban sound from Japan in the 1980s. Fans lauded the album for its concept and musical scope.

"There is plenty of great Vietnamese music out there, you just need to know what to listen," Minh Hien, a music promoter in Hanoi, said.

go to top