EP review: Tommy heavenly6 - Halloween Addiction

EP review: Tommy heavenly6 - Halloween Addiction | Random J Pop

Obviously Tommy heavenly6 has a Halloween EP out. Because, how could a bitch not!? When you first see the offering it seems vast and almost too damn much for a Halloween EP, featuring 21 tracks. But then you see the runtimes. Only 4 of the songs are full length songs. Websites, retailers, articles online and even the EP cover itself will say there are only 3, but “Why Don't You Come With Me?” is a full song to me. I don’t care if it’s only 2 and half minutes long. It’s a full song.The 4 songs on Halloween Addiction are all pretty much what you would expect, but they’re still good songs...if you haven’t heard any of them before. 2 of the songs on this EP had been released as singles prior to this EP as part of other albums / projects (“Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl” originally featured on the Tommy heavenly6 album Heavy Starry Heavenly), and there are no big changes to made to either of them here. The new Tommy heavenly6 song "Never Ending Party Night" and the Tommy february6 song “Why Don't You Come With Me?” are both good, but I’m sure fans would’ve liked more in the way of new material.

The Tommy february6 song is my personal favourite on the EP. I’m biased, because I prefer february6 over heavenly6. But the Tommy february6 song is also the strongest of the 4, because it’s the only song between them which has a clear Halloween framing. "Never Ending Party Night", “Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl” and "I'm Your Devil" all fit under the Halloween umbrella by being gothic ‘n’ shit; but when you pluck them out of this Halloween album, they’re just rock songs. Where-as “Why Don't You Come With Me?” is just a flat out Halloween song, with all of the lyrical and musical cliches which come with that. “Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl” was written with Halloween in mind, but it’s still just a pop rock song. “Never Ending Party Night” the only new Tommy heavenly6 song on this EP carries the theme of the EP, but is still just a pop rock song. And even with “I’m Your Devil” being ‘remixed’ for this EP, none of the additional production and mixing makes it more Halloweeny. It’s still just a pop rock song, now with a Hip-Hop breakdown. (Don't ask). But I guess it’s very on brand for Tommy february6’s Halloween song to be kitschy and feature the Halloween song cliches, and for Tommy heavenly6’s to be Halloween by association of her sound and persona. “Why Don't You Come With Me?” is also wonderfully weird in that it puts a creepy twist on Tommy february6, making her out to be bad. So the song comes off sounding like Tommy february6 pretending to be Tommy heavenly6, but as Tommy february6’s perceives her - which is just crazy, ridiculous and kind of amazing to do, when you could have just had Tommy heavenly6 do the damn song. Another reason why it’s the best song on the EP.

EP review: Tommy heavenly6 - Halloween Addiction | Random J Pop

In all honesty, the heavenly6 songs not being Halloween enough isn’t even an issue. The sequencing of them is a bigger culprit. “Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl” and “I’m Your Devil” are sequenced in a way which dilutes their impact. “Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl” is split. You get 1 minute of the song, then 2 interludes, then the rest of the song. It’s strange. I had to double check and make sure I didn’t hit the navigation button or that my shit wasn’t on repeat. And the interlude isn’t some cool Vincent Price “Thriller”-esque spoken word segment which still carries the music of the song. It’s just 2 wholly different pieces which are a complete drop in energy and tone, which cuts a high energy song in two. “I’m Your Devil” is sandwiched between 2 interludes which feature the same spoken work segment from Tommy heavenly6, and this same spoken word segment is also in the song. So by the time you get to the second interlude and you hear it again, you’ve heard it 3 times and it’s just too much. I’m all for a nice motif and the hankering of a theme to make sure it’s clear, but this was overkill. And this generally leads into the biggest issue with Halloween Addiction as a whole, which is that it’s unnecessarily bloated.

The number of tracks on Halloween Addiction is generally excessive because every track which is tasked with summarising the story via a narration has an intro and then a musical segment which conveys the themes of the summary. We didn’t need all three. Just the track with the narration or the song would have sufficed. The ‘moments for the moments to sell the moments’ approach is just filler.

The scope of Halloween Addiction is cool, and features a level of effort that I wish more artists took when it came to Halloween songs or just EP’s in general. But the coolest thing about this EP is how it frames who Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly6 are. I think it was clear to most that they were both alter egos of Tomoko Kawase herself, and everybody just accepted that they were 2 different characters who were opposites of one another. Not much more needed to be known to get the premise of why there are two Tommy’s. But Halloween Addiction hammers positions Tommy february6 and Tommy heavenly6 as 2 beings fighting for control over the same body. Kinda like the whole Caitilin and Killer Frost shit in The CW’s The Flash, Jean Grey and The Phoenix in X-Men. It’s an interesting framing, and one which provides greater context as to why some of the heavenly6 songs on February & Heavenly and Tommy♥Ice Cream Heaven♥Forever sound the way they do (although it by no means excuses the shortcomings of either). As cool as it is to have an explanation as to why there are 2 Tommy’s (the validity of which is questionable given it’s told through a Halloween tale), I don’t think that it was needed. And there were too many themes which ran through the narrative when there should have been just one, or maybe two at most. Halloween Addiction couldn’t decide if it wanted to be Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a kooky carnival story or Alice in Wonderland; so it ends up being this mix of all of them, and something really simple just becomes…something. It’s a shame that the story wasn’t better structured and that it didn’t stick to one clear influence and follow it through. The only consistent thing throughout is that the music in each of the segments sound appropriately Halloween-like, channelling The Nightmare Before Christmas.

EP review: Tommy heavenly6 - Halloween Addiction | Random J Pop

The CEO of Warner Music Japan must roll his eyes every time he has a meeting with Tomoko, because he knows he’s gonna be pitched some foolishness that he can’t say no to or give notes on, because he knows she’s gonna go off and do whatever the fuck she wants anyway. Thank pumpkin Jesus they say yes to it all. But as fun as Halloween Addiction is, no amount of effort for the segments and interludes make up for the fact that more new songs should have been included here. Tomoko really went to all the trouble to have these big narrative pieces in-between the songs, when she should’ve just...recorded new songs. I think everybody would have preferred a 5 song EP of new Halloween material without any of the fluff, over what is essentially a compilation featuring 2 new songs.

I also think that it would have been better for there to have been an even split between Tommy february6 songs and Tommy heavenly6 songs. Just having the whole project be Tommy heavenly6 because she’s the goth rock chick was lazy. And it felt weird for there to just be one Tommy february6 song when the story told across the EP is also about her. I generally think that a Halloween EP from Tommy february6 would have done what it needed to and ticked all my boxes.

The sentiment of Halloween Addiction is great. And it’s very on brand for Tommy february6 and / or Tommy heavenly6. But it’s for this reason that I wish more was done. Everything that Tomoko did to create a story for these songs to sit together is admirable, but it was misdirected time and energy which should have been put into recording new songs. It’s clear to see (hear?) that effort put into making Halloween Addiction, yet what we got still manages to feel a little lazy. This was a chance for the Tommy’s to release something which could have been memorable and a Halloween staple in J-Pop. And instead we got something which feels like a cute side project that you’ll play once and won’t play again, because you’ve already made a playlist of Tommy Halloween songs.

VERDICT: Lollipop♥Pumpkin Spice♥Diabetes

■ Why Don't You Come With Me? 🏆
■ Lollipop Candy ♥ Bad ♥ Girl 🔥
■ The Pumpkin's Forest
■ Never Ending Party Night
■ I'm Your Devil 🔥