Half Japanese — Crazy Hearts (4th Dec., 2020)

USA FLAG                                                                                  Half Japanese — Crazy Hearts (4th Dec., 2020)  Half Japanese — Crazy Hearts (4th Dec., 2020)•⇔• Half Japanese se vrací s devatenáctým albem a dokazuje, že i 40 let po svém debutu jsou stále živí a zásadní jako nikdy předtím. Předvádějí noise a indie rock již více než čtyři desetiletí, inspirovali generace fanoušků, hudebníků i kritiků. „Crazy Hearts“ pokračuje ve svém rozladěném, outsiderském popu, který vás zachytí takovým způsobem, jaký dokáže jen Jad Fair. Na jejich poslední exkurzi je Uncut pochválil za jejich „nezměněné extatické úvahy o lásce a sci~fi“, které zde stále rezonují. 
•⇔• Band přináší další dobře zpracované album se svým obvyklým kutilským étosem a uměleckým punkovým duchem („Undisputed Champions“), to vše při stálém umístění Jadova kresleného srdce na rukávu alba („Crazy Hearts“). Jad Fair (b. June 9, 1954, Coldwater, Michigan) nahrával v různých studiích ve Španělsku, Francii a USA a zde ho doprovází jeho dlouholetí parťáci John Sluggett, Gilles~Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs a Jason Willett. Masteroval Brian Pyle a smíchal Jason Willett. Album obsahuje umělecká díla od amerického ilustrátora a karikaturisty Garyho Pantera a Davida Faira.
•⇔• Stejně jako u mnoha jejich předchozích verzí dominuje v lyrických tématech jeho fascinace příšerkami a láskou. „Late At Night“ navazuje na místo, kde The Walking Dead z loňského alba Invincible skončilo, ...se zaměřením na noční procházky zombie, zatímco hypnotická titulní skladba je blaženým výletem plným téměř dětských rýmů.  Jad Fair outside Cafe Oto in Dalston, London, on 2nd December 2011
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Album release: 4th December, 2020
Record Label: Fire Records
Duration:     36:17
Tracks:
01. The Beast Master   1:48
02. Wondrous Wonder   2:44
03. Dark World   3:18
04. And It Is   2:44
05. My Celebrity   2:53
06. Late At Night   2:39
07. Undisputed Champions   3:12
08. Crazy Hearts   4:04
09. As Best You Can   2:22
10. A Phantom Menace   3:53
11. A Job Well Done   2:45
12. Let It Show   3:55Half Japanese ©Craig BowenPersonnel:
John Sluggett (guitar), Gilles~Vincent Rieder (drums), Jason Willett (bass), Mick Hobbs (guitar), and Jad Fair (vocals and guitar).
Review
By Nathan Whittle ⌊November 18, 2020⌋ Score: ★★★★½ 
The last time we took a look at one of Half Japanese’s albums it was 2016’s Perfect. Since then, Jad Fair and his now solid line up have hit on a spree of releases, one a year right up to this year’s Crazy Hearts. As a band, not only are they on a prolific run, but are also on inspired form and this new album is a lesson in the twists and turns of lo~fi experimental post~punk that has made the band so influential since their inception at the tail end of the 70’s. It’s no surprise to hear how important Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers were to the initial formation of Half Japanese and, on this new album, Fair and his band draw on their influence like never before. Songs like Undisputed Champions and the wild~eyed opener The Beastmaster harness the Lovers spiked rhythms and lyricism like few of Fair’s previous releases have.
•⇔• As with many of their previous releases, it’s his fascination with monsters and love that dominate the lyrical themes. The loping Late At Night picks up where The Walking Dead from last year’s Invincible album left off, with it’s focus on night crawling zombies, while the hypnotic title track is a blissful trip full of almost nursery rhyme lyrics.
•⇔• Listening back through Half Japanese’s back catalogue, it’s clear to see just how much impact they have had on the indie landscape. Without their warped lo~fi sounds, the likes of Violent Femmes, R.E.M., Pavement, Eels and others that followed the path they ploughed may never have found that lyrical guile that Fair excels in. He almost pays it back on early album highlight, Wonderous Wonder, on which his phrasing recalls early Stipe, the influence coming back round in full circle. It’s also a song that brims with a life~affirming positivity that is impossible to resist.
•⇔• Throughout the whole album they flit and shift, never staying still and settling into one groove, yet always cohesive in the overall style that they have crafted. Right up to the end, on the joyous bouncing summer psych~pop of Let It Show, they keep you guessing. Crazy Hearts feels like a realisation of Fair’s dream to follow in Richman’s footsteps. While it may seem too polished for those who prefer the crazed deshevelment of their first recordings, it is a must for those fans of the band that have traced their development of the last forty years, and the perfect record for new fans to dive into their back catalogue from. A triumph!
•⇔• https://louderthanwar.com/half-japanese-crazy-hearts-album-review/
by Matt Cotsell ⌊3 Dec 2020⌋ Score: ★★★★½ 
•⇔• https://www.musicomh.com/reviews/albums/half-japanese-crazy-hearts
Interview with Jad Fair on Soundblab.com 18th December 2011:
•⇔• http://stephentaylor-sightandsound.blogspot.com/2012/01/interview-with-jad-fair-on-soundblabcom.html
Label: https://www.firerecords.com/product/half-japanese-crazy-hearts/
Website: https://www.jadfair.net/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/halfjapaneseband/