In 'If 6 was 9', Jimi Hendrix gave voice to the those who despised the straight world of "white collar conservatives" when he sang "they all assume my kind will drop and die but I'm gonna wave from freak flag high". Jad Fair may be of another generation, he was born in Michigan in 1955, but this latest addition to his extensive discography shows him to be both a defiant and proud outsider artist.
Aside from numerous side projects and collaborations, Fair's band 'Half Japanese' have, since in 1975, been a constant source of inspiration for freak flag flyers everywhere.
To maintain a level of sophisticated amateurism for over four decades in more than 30 albums requires an admirable dedication to duty. Here he is ably assisted by fellow art-folk cohorts John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Jason Willett and Mick Hobbs.
In 2018, Fair showed his abiding allegiance to Hendrix's anti-establishment philosophy by making a 27 track, 41 minute album with his brother David entitled 'Scuse Us While We Kiss The Sky'. The music contained within can be best described as a joyful racket that is evidently not the work of a man out to please the masses.
The fifteen songs on 'Invincible' are not as wayward as those but reflect the same determination to make sense of our twisted and messed up world by viewing it with the same level of bemusement and incomprehension as an alien might.
Fair writes quirky, yet heartfelt, love songs but also sings about puppet people, vampires and the living dead. As with artists like Daniel Johnson and Jonathan Richman, the child-like sense of wonder is something of a smokescreen and should not be mistaken for innocence or naivety.
Listen without prejudice and there's true wisdom here, albeit presented in an eccentric hippy-esque manner. “Let's hear for love!” he urges All At Once.
In short, Fair recognizes that things go much better when the heart rules the head rather than vive versa.