Cibo Matto

Hotel Valentine

Chimera Music

Feb 14, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Cibo Matto break their 15-year hiatus following Stereo Type A with this return album on former member Sean Lennon's Chimera label. Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda have kept themselves busy in myriad projects during the time apart, from jazz and bossa nova to collaborations with Gorillaz, Yoko Ono, Petra Haden, and Handsome Boy Modeling School. This loose, wonky concept album about ghosts living in a hotel is a callback to the genre-twisting irreverence which made their unusual debut LP (10 songs about food!) a mid-'90s alternative era staple, but Hotel Valentine isn't free of dust and cobwebs. The laidback "Déjà Vu" and "Hotel Valentine" recall their calmer trip-pop efforts; the wilder "MFN" opens with shrill noise over bumping synths and spectral backup vocals, before eventually breaking down into a mouth trumpet solo. It's the only track which approaches the off-kilter energy of a classic like "Birthday Cake;" too much of the remainder dissolves into one another, and little else captivates. Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche, and Atoms for Peace's Mauro Refosco guest. (www.yeahbasicallycibomatto.com)

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