At the tail end of last year, it seemed as if LuHan was releasing songs and music videos every other week, including the brilliant (and underrated) Medals. But after months away, he returns with the moody Catch Me When I Fall. And although it doesn’t quite live up to the best of his past material, it’s still a treat to have him back.
Catch Me When I Fall borrows heavily from the dark, electronic trend that’s enveloped quite a bit of popular music worldwide. In tone and performance, it recalls western artists like Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas. And in that way, the track is a bit of a disappointment. But LuHan’s solo work has always drawn more from American artists than Eastern influences, so his output really lives or dies on the strength of the melodies and production. These elements work together to create a palpable sense of mood, offsetting some of Fall‘s more derivative instincts.
The track utilizes those ubiquitous tropical house synth squiggles we’re so used to hearing this year, but slows them to a point where they sound more ominous than euphoric. In fact, the entire instrumental has a haunting quality, favoring a murky brew of almost hymnal electronics. LuHan gives an incredibly understated performance, never taking his vocals above a pensive, conversational tone. The verses lack a memorable punch, but Fall‘s chorus makes up for that. It’s a simple refrain — both lyrically and melodically — but there’s a quiet sort of power in that simplicity. In its own way, it actually hits harder than almost anything he’s recorded so far.