Vietnamese Musician Recognized as Top 25 Asian Albums of 2023

Established in 1953, NME (New Musical Express), the UK's leading music publication, has recently released their highly anticipated top list of albums for 2023. With a reputation for providing insightful criticism and reviews, NME has curated a selection of the 25 best albums, with one outstanding Vietnamese artist catching their attention as a shining representative from the Asian market.

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Ranking at No. 15 in the top 25 best Asian albums of 2023, “ái” (love) by tlinh (real name Nguyen Thao Linh) is the only Vietnamese representative to be named by New Musical Express (NME). The debut album of Gen Z’s female rapper was described by a British music magazine as “a beautiful RnB record.”

Album “ái” by tlinh is the sole representative from Vietnam in the top 25 best Asian albums of 2023.

Emerging as a standout on the televised reality competition Rap Viet, tlinh first gained attention in Vietnam’s music scene as an MC – but this year, she made her full-length debut with an exquisite alt-R&B record, ‘ái’.

An assured statement of artistic self-determination, ‘ái’ is already captivating on its own. As a singer, tlinh’s breathy voice evokes silk and satin. She takes us on a multi-angled exploration of love and its various stages: pain, healing, forgiveness, and more. She’s also coy and sensual, especially on the playful track ‘ghệ iu dấu của em ơi’ (‘My Dearest Boo’),” wrote NME.

Despite the controversies, tlinh delivered an impressive debut album filled with pink, dreams, and desires for love and being loved.

‘ái’ was released in September and features 12 songs. The album made an immediate impact upon its release. In it, tlinh showcases every aspect, from cute, sweet, and dreamy to vulnerable and rebellious. Consequently, the album conveys the message of feminism from a different angle than previous works, illustrating that not all feminism is about strength. Women can do whatever they want and live authentically.

The album encompasses a mix of diverse music genres, including hip-hop, R&B, Jamaican, reggae, and dancehall.

tlinh is the only Vietnamese artist featured in this list. The top three spots are held by “Get Up” by New Jeans, “Spunky!” by Grrrl Gang, and “Unforgiven” by Le Sserafim.

Hannah Nguyen