John Park, “Falling”

Korean singer John Park, best-known for his runner-up finish on Superstar K and his semifinal turn on American Idol a few years back, has released Knock, his debut album on Korean label Music Farm. The carrier single, Falling, is a collaboration with UK songwriter Andy Platts (of Mamas Gun). Both singers have exquisite falsettos, and it’s come into full, brilliant effect on Park’s carrier single, which is arguably one of the finest K-Pop ballads of the past three years. Admittedly, it doesn’t sound “K-Pop” – I foist that reason on Platt’s decidedly Brit-pop melody – but I think that’s where the beauty of the song comes through. My wife and I both think Park’s self-titled debut is an excellent first release, certainly when pit in perspective against Superstar K winner Huh Gak, whose #1 songs are decidedly more K-Pop; if given an opportunity to compare songs against Park’s, methinks the latter may have created a more universal record that would speak to other markets outside of Korea’s.

The video itself is also stellar, although I’ve tried to restrain occasional laughter because I just couldn’t bridge the gap between the symbolic and the literal (how, for instance, does a crate hurtling through the air, not affect those inside it for a good 30 seconds before gravity kicks in?). But it is beautifully shot, beautifully acted out, and is quite appropriate for the somber mood of the song. Falling is undoubtedly lovely, and I confidently recommend it.

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