Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: Daniel Park “Search and Rescue” [EP]

Singer/songwriter Daniel Park was born in South Korea and raised in New Mexico. He’s been making a name for himself in the local music scene there and looking for a wider audience. Unlike his debut, “These Illusions”, his new EP features an assortment of talented musicians to complement his philosophical songs.

But sometimes less is more. While I can appreciate some of these songs at their core, some of them have been overproduced and the slick sheen runs right over Park’s modest vocal. We get off on the wrong foot with the opener, “Be Right Here”. For reasons I’ll never understand, Park generously applies autotune to his vocals, which nearly made me hit eject and immediately toss the CD in the waste bin. But I’m glad I pressed on because “Be Right Here” is not representative of the other songs on this EP. The title track is up next, and while still suffering from too much studio tinkering, is a lyrically smart piece worthy of repeated listens. Park’s voice is better suited to the stripped down version of this song closing the EP. The perfect version of this song is somewhere in the middle between the two.

“Sparks Fly” is a pretty fun tune – got that playful “I Want Candy” beat and an 80s sounding lead. “Roller Coaster” is another worthy modern songwriter track – bright acoustic guitar and a driving rhythm help propel this song into your long-term memory. I think this track is the type of song Park could build a sustainable career around. “Love In Your Hands” is sweet but innocuous - no more special than the millions of other acoustic ditties that make you feel like walking in a field of sunflowers.

Daniel Park on MySpace. Official site.

Listen to “Roller Coaster”