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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Zipper (3)

Here's the latest shot from Halcali's ongoing collaboration with Zipper magazine. This month's spread is called 15人の夏トップス (The Summer Tops of 15 People). Halcali clock in at number 15.
They're looking more like themselves this month, and I'm glad to see they've been given free reign over what to wear as opposed to being kitted out in the usual Candy Stripper-esque gear. It's still surprising to look back at their old promo shots in comparison though. They take one year off but come back looking like they've aged five.
Not that this is a bad thing of course, the thing I was worried about wasn't that they were going to stop wearing their baseball caps to the side but that the move to Sony was going to steamroller all of their unique sparkle into the ground in an effort to water them down to get them further up the charts. I'm not sure that's happened so far, and now I'm not sure it will.
Apart from the fact that so far, Sony have shown only minimal interest in Halcali anyway, musically I still don't think that we can use the two singles they've released so far (a Halcali sedated for an anime tie-in and O.T.F's massively delayed, possible Halcali swan song) to determine exactly how the switch has changed them, if at all. To me at least, their continuing involvement with i-dep's Nakamura promises a lot at least.
Looking at these regular Zipper appearances though, has that unique spark gone? I don't think so. A lot of that spark originally came from the gift Halcali received that most teenage pop stars don't- the freedom to do what they want and dress how they please. That one early promo shot that tried to deck them out as the new Heartsdales aside, they still seem to have that freedom. They still look like they're posing themselves, dressing themselves and acting like themselves, and I can't think of many other people in Halcali's position that are able to stand up and say they can do that.
Judging by all those holidays to Europe and Asia they've been taking recently, they're being treated pretty well by their label too. Hopefully by the time the next single rolls around Sony will spend a little bit of that money on promoting it.


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