I like Half Japanese so I pre-ordered their new album. It’s their first release since 2001. Jad Fair has been active in other pursuits, but it’s always difficult to predict how a band will sound after re-connecting years later. Many bands have done this with success lately including Polvo, Sebadoh, and Dinosaur Jr.
Half Japanese has always had that knack for pop rhythms mixed in with randomly grating elements. Sometimes the grating takes over, and it can be enjoyable, or less so. Half Japanese also has this ability to tap into positive themes that can sometimes border on the cheesy. But they know how to pull it off and they are often very up-lifting. It’s part of what sets them apart.
This album is full lon Half Japanese and it’s just great. Like they never skipped a beat. Actually, scratch that. This is better than the last Half Japanese album I can remember (though their last couple of albums coincide with my years of recluse so take with grain of salt). Not a bad track on the album if you are a Half Japanese fan. And plenty of good ones with broad appeal if you aren’t. This is the intro track.