[#20] John Park - "Imagine"

Released: July
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: First Appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "다시" (Feat. Bizzy)

Listening to John Park's debut album was one of my spur-of-the-moment decisions this year, I didn't really know much about him beforehand. And while a lot of the material on it is nothing special, there were two or three tracks that really stood out for me, and really convinced me that he's someone I'm going to keep my eye on.

"Imagine" is, to me, a pop singer's pop song -- the melody is specifically made to show off vocals, not just hide flaws or push strengths, but it's not a straight ballad. The verses start off comfortably, "regular" singing, so to say, but the verses quickly progress to a head tone of sorts, there's a lot more pushing and half-belting involved, and the chorus is in the falsetto range, which is self-explanatory. The range of technique needed to pull off this melody, especially by a single vocalist, makes it more difficult than usual, yes, but that's exactly why it's a singer's song.

And, for the most part, the instrumental and arrangement are only second to the melody and the vocals. There's a constantly prominent synth/piano line, one electronic drum kit, a few dynamic markers here and there when they're needed. But nothing distracts from the singing. Even the melody itself goes in a straight line within each progression -- you're really forced to listen to John Park's singing, and for good reason.

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