# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Jad Fair - His Name Itself is Music

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 20 / 2 / 2011

Jad Fair - His Name Itself is Music
Label: Fire Records
Format: CD


Hyperactive and challenging, yet sparkingly original solo album from American avant garde artist Jad Fair, who is also one half of Half Japanese

Once half of Half Japanese, with his brother David, Jad Fair recorded hundreds of songs. Hyperactive and agitated, Half Japanese were way too nervous, speedy and eccentric to the punk and new wave generation of 1977. Fully capable of writing wonderful music - check out 'Music To Strip By' from 1987- Jad Fair even now sticks to confrontational experiment. He has often used symmetrical papercuttings in album cover designs, an art form popular in Japan, and this new album, which comes in a cute and bright orange cover, also uses that. Two recently recorded albums for Thick Syrup with Brother David lead to 'His Name Itself is Music' being released in The UK. The CD and this renewed interest in Jad Fair is likely to shed more light on the erratic, and earlier on irate, genius in his music. His records have been described as headache music. You could add to that brainwash and hysteria. In a sense, the wipe out in 'I Think You're Cool' where Jad tells you to shut your cake(-hole) almost equals the freak out that Zappa and Beefheart brought about, as if they were strangling the Turtles. At the beginning of the new CD he's like the human beatbox at an installation in an art gallery, yet his narrative talent is as obvious as it was ever before. On 'I Hear the Clock Ticking' he even sounds like a disturbed soul scrooner. When you are somewhat trained to listen to disturbing music, you'll find funny, naughty and everyday aspects in it. Have a chocolate cake and a soda pop, then shout, yodel and freak out! The music is almost entirely based on layers of his voice being mixed with his singing, immaculately re-mastered by Kramer and then sparsely arranged with percussion and digital bits. It is only, however, to be taken in doses, unless you sport an archaic and very able attention span. Many lighthearted moments however, like 'Happiness Explosion', are there to be enjoyed yet the mood often changes. This collection of homegrown teases remains sparklingly original. On the cover it instructs fans to 'play loud and often' and I would also suggest that you turn up the bass. To which extent Native American music plays a part, I honestly cannot tell. The vocal excursions on 'His Name Itself is Music', however, leads me to believe this. "There are kisses from you, and hugs from you when once before there was my neighbour that would chase me around with a stick" he remembers in 'There are Blue Skies'. Jad Fair is painstakingly honest and direct again. This blunt album probably will not help much either but this is literally a gifted soul getting things off his chest, and when you've learnt to go how about it, it's fun!

Track Listing:-
1 The Best Ever
2 Paper And Pen
3 The Lion Roaring
4 I Hear The Clock Ticking
5 The Bang Of The Whistle
6 Sweet Soda Pop
7 Mixed Up Coffee
8 For You I Am A Faller
9 Happiness Explosion
10 Have A Nice Day
11 Let's Get Down To Brass Tacks
12 Soda Pop
13 I Think You're Cool
14 There Are Blue Skies
15 The Bee Keeper's Daughter

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