You see, the message this new Half Japanese record, Overjoyed, (the first in many a moon) is giving out, and the way Fair approaches the subject matter in of all his songs, is positive.
"Well, what would the little kitten do?"
Good question, Jad Fair. I'm not sure as the kitten Jad's referencing in We Are Sure isn't in my friends list but hey, if we're talking about a universal, trans-national kitten, I think (as I reckon Jad would also) that they'd do something positive and life-affirming. You see, the message this new Half Japanese record, Overjoyed, (the first in many a moon) is giving out, and the way Fair approaches the subject matter in of all his songs, is positive. Positive. This determined "yes we can" take on positivity is everywhere and taken to a sort of cartoony endgame; in Each Other's Arms, Fair encourages us to jump into a chocolate lake. Elsewhere, The Time is Now is akin to some pep talk for Heads - Fair's lyrics being a mix of cutesy daftness and a weird profundity; after all the line "just remember a bunny ain't afraid to hop", however daft it sounds, can work on a number of levels if you want it to. Things come to a head with the marvellous one-two of We Are Sure and As Good As Can Be; the second song being driven by a couple of rousing hooks and melody lines as well as the (by this point standard) "go get em" encouragements.
It's not just a lesson in self-awareness; there are some classic grinding rock tracks here too, some real groovers, such as the brilliant, ever so slightly hare-brained Shining Star and Meant to Be That Way, or Brave Enough, which has a Hi Life tick to it. When listening to tracks like these it's easy to put aside the message as Fair's vocal line has a knack of drawling and scatting along with the song; giving room to the buzzsaw guitars and tappety tap of the percussion.
You're purrfect said the cat and I will agree to that. OK Jad, you win pal. Great record.