Daniel Park - Search & Rescue
Ambient pop artist Daniel Park sure has a knack for compelling intros, an asset that usually is a good signs. Each of the seven tracks on "Search & Rescue" features somber but strong melodies that draw from ambient, rock, hard rock, and power pop. The evocative opening to "Be Right Here," the first track, promises much more than the song can deliver. T he problem with most of the songs on this EP, though, is that once the vocals kick in, complete with the occasional Cher-like delay effects, the level of inspiration seems to nose-dive. These are songs that have a sappy, rather than chewy, center, weakening the hard crust.
Songs with gorgeous melodies like "Love in Your Hands" and "Last stop" and the acoustic version of "Be Right Here" try to hold it together, but fall victim to bad writing and lazy vocals. More successful are "Roller Coaster" which rocks credibly and majestic throughout, and "Sparks Fly," which offers a few musical surprises and works because Park's tepid vocals are more buried in the mix.
For an EP, "Search & Rescue" shows off considerable range of compositional chops and ambitions. Unfortunately, Daniel Park can't rise above his vocal and lyrical limitations to really deliver the goods. That may only be temporary; Park's ear is borderline visionary, and that never hurts. Maybe he'd be more successful in a band, or with a singer. Still, this does show ample talent to build on, even if it doesn't always do itself justice here.
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