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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want just one HALF JAPANESE album? Get this one, 8 Jan 2006
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Ok. There's nobody that sounds like these guys (and the occasional gal). It's amature night. That doesn't mean it ain't musical. It's all about music and defying standard pop conventions. Where we get real lucky on this hits package is 1) They put this together just before their albums started to be less potent and 2) there's 5 unreleased songs on this two CD set. I gotta admit, the 3xLP set is impressive because of the size. Well, heck, that's one of the main advantages LP has over CD. The pictures are bigger and there's just something more substantial in your hands.
Musically, if you don't know this band it's like 5 to 10 people, about half the time including sax, going all out on a song but not in the typically in-synch musical manner we're used to in Western world music. Instead each musician is hurtleing off at a pretty wreckless pace while the other musicians are, pretty much, playing the same song.
For me, this creates a cacphony of sound. It makes it so it's less predictable. Years later even very favorite bands like the BEATLES, MINOR THREAT, JONI MITCHELL and BAD BRAINS are something I just can't listen to over and over again year after year. I need a break, say 5 years, before I can go back and appreciate hearing them again. With HALF JAPANESE that's not the case and it's strictly because their music is unpredictable. It's not something I can simply sing along with and know what each instrument is going to do. That keeps it fresh.
Of course, there's Jad Fair's voice. If you can't stand it, and he talks rather than sings through half the songs, then forget about enjoying this band. Like David Thomas from PERE UBU and Fergal Sharkey of the UNDERTONES, if you don't get into their non-traditional pop/rock voices yer just not gonna like the band. I like all three of those vocalists which is fortunate because all three front(ed) incredible bands each with a very distinct sound. I like that in a band.
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Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits by Half Japanese
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