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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tokyo Groove etc.

I wrote my first review of Tokyo Grove probably the day or so after it was released. It was written very quickly, and not particularly well, which is ultimately why I chose not to publish it. Having re-read it again just now I think that was a good idea.

Needless to say, my initial reaction was not good. So I decided to let the album sit a little, mull over it a bit and then come back to it with a more level headed mindset and give it another try.

Unfortunately, it hasn't improved, and what I was struggling with then is still what I'm struggling with now; its becoming increasingly difficult for me to justify being a Halcali fan.

I won't deny that this has been an issue with me for a while now, but even their less impressive releases have always had that basic Halcali vibe; that fun, colourful and very unique spark that's been with them since the beginning.

I don't feel that at all on Tokyo Groove. This is a very cynical, emotionless release that feels as flat and cold as a piece of plastic. The whole thing just feels so lazy and rushed, reeking of little more than Sony looking for the quickest way to milk the most money from the fanbase with the least amount of work, perhaps while speeding up the end of their contractual obligations to Halcali in the process.

Remember when Halcali were overflowing with ideas and ambition? That's gone now. The first CD clocks in at a pathetic 8 tracks. Two of those are singles, another is a (utterly shameless!) b-side, one is actually quite good (the long lost Zig Zag Saturday Night), and three others are bland, instantly forgettable cookie cutter Jpop numbers which barely warrant a second listen. I wonder who they were originally written for?

Topping all of this off is a dreadful and amateurish 10 minute mash up of Halcali-when-they-were-good, which essentially only serves to remind you of everything they used to be, and everything they've lost.

The second CD of covers hardly warrants a mention, and could have been put together by any Halcali fan with a bit of time on their hands. Most of the songs are old (Ai dates back to their Bacon days), none are particularly interesting. It all makes for a very empty, depressing listen.

Does this tired, meandering mess mean the end of Halcali? You really feel like their fate is out of their hands anyway so its hard to say for sure. Maybe some inspired producer will whisk them away and they'll start making that fun, colourful, and unique music again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New single Endless Night is looking potentially awesome

What I'm really looking for the most from this new single Endless Night (due out on the 27th) is a reason to get excited about Halcali again. What with little more than two covers to their name released in the whole of 2009, I must admit found my interest in them waning somewhat. So I hope this new one will be something special.

Thankfully, all signs are currently pointing to yes. The brief snippet of the song posted by Sony sounds pretty good, it will feature Bose from Schadaraparr, and was produced by Ram Rider, while the flip has (according to Sony) a "catchy piano riff" and was produced by Verbal.

All those guys have come up with the goods for them in the past, and with the huge success of the Boogie Back downloads behind them, here's hoping this will kick off a great 2010 for Halcali.

Stewart gave us a link to listen to Endless Night right here! Thoughts? This is sounding pretty good after a couple of listens. Hurry up and check it out before its taken down.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mobile downloads for Konya hit half a million!


According to barks, chaku uta downloads to mobile phones for the Tokyo No.1 Soul Set/Halcali collaboration Konya wa Boogie Back hit 30,000 mid October, and surpassed the half a million mark in November.

While I honestly had a hard time mustering anything more than mild interest towards the actual song itself, those are incredible figures to go Halcali's way, and despite it likely being sold more on the strength of the cover song as opposed to the band this will surely have a significant impact on Halcali's career.

So where now, Sony?

Thanks to amj!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New single Konya wa Boogie Back


Halcali's next single will be a collaborative effort with Tokyo No.1 Soul Set on a cover of the 1994 Kenji Osawa/Schadaraparr single Konya wa Boogie Back, which was featured recently on a Nissan TV commercial (video below).

The Halcali version was first released as a downloadable chaku uta version for cellphones, and after it debuted at number 3, it was decided it should be released as a single.

The single will be released on September 23rd, and will be backed with two rerecorded versions of old Soul Set songs, Rising Sun and Innocent Love. Even if Halcali are featured on these b sides too, this is somewhat of a disappointment.

Although it will be nice to see Halcali back in the shops in some form, I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer for a 'proper' Halcali single.

Thanks, as always, to amj!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Real life taking its toll!

No one likes to read these "sorry for the lack of updates" posts, but here is one anyway.

Any new album, single, anything information you have about everyone's all time favourite Japanese band, please let us know!

According to an anonymous poster below, the album has been pushed back to autumn...any sources on that?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Halcali on new Scha Dara Parr album!

Info from Chipple

Awesome! Halcali will appear as guest singers on old friends Scha Dara Parr's (of Halcali Sensation! fame) new album 11, due out on the 25th.

Their last album Con10po, and that collaboration they did with Denki Groove were both a lot of fun, and adding Halcali into the mix makes this a definite purchase.

Thanks to Patrick!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Halcali on Judy and Mary tribute album

Halcali appearing on this album has been news for a few weeks now, but what's interesting here is the amount of exposure this release, and of course our girls, is looking likely to get. To give you some idea about this, according to Bark, when these songs were released as chaku uta downloads after a promotion spot on Music Station on the 27th of February, six of the chaku uta top 10 downloads for that week were tracks from this tribute album.

Judy and Mary 15th Anniversary Tribute Album will be released 18th of March.

Here's the original version of Lucky Pool that Halcali will cover