Mike Park

North Hangook Falling (Asian Man Records)

December 1, 2005


Indie punk legend Mike Park’s new album, North Hangook Falling, replaces his usual riffs with gentle strumming and acoustic guitar. But the essential punk ethos remains front and center: Falling is a meditation on politics, race and the Korean War, a topic that Park’s own family refused to discuss with him while he was growing up. Standout tracks include “Born to Kill,” Park’s reflection on a world filled with chaos, which cleverly juxtaposes upbeat guitar chords with lyrics reflecting a world ripe with random acts of violence. On “Asian Prodigy,” he challenges Asian American stereotypes, while “Is it Safe for Me to Go Outside” calls for a united Korea. Park wisely resists the urge to make Falling a collection of politically correct speech accompanied by music. Instead, he has successfully created an album about his world today and about a world he someday hopes to see.

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