New Bump Of Chicken: “Happy”

J-Rock heavyweights Bump Of Chicken have a new single out, and it isn’t shy about telling you how to feel about it. “Happy” (featured above, ripped from some radio station I guess), follows last year’s surprisingly great “R.I.P.,” a song that managed to turn subdued guitar playing into a sweetly nostalgic bit of music that knew how to pick up the pace at the right time. “Happy” still finds the group placing the emphasis on melody rather than faux-macho “rockin’ out,” but their latest seems a little less energetic than “R.I.P.” That single knew just when to accelerate in order to juice the emotions, making six minutes fly by. “Happy” clocks in at about the same length but feels a whole lot longer – Bump Of Chicken sound completely pleasant here, but that’s just it. “Pleasant” might not be a bad adjective, but it’s also nothing to get excited over. Washing the dishes can be “pleasant,” or walking the dog. Nobody expect Bump Of Chicken to shoot off in strange directions…but I can’t be the only one wishing they’d go in any other direction instead of “locked in.” Oh, and at one point, they all repeat the words “happy birthday.” Not sure what to make of that. Anyway, “Happy” definitely stands miles above most of the J-Rock shoveled down our collective throats by the powers that be, but Bump Of Chicken have shown a lot more promise than this.

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