Cibo Matto

Pom Pom: The Essential Cibo Matto | Warner Bros./Rhino
By MATT ASHARE  |  March 27, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
This kind of collection is made for bands like Cibo Matto whose expansive musical vision is spread across a petite discography (two albums and an EP, in this case) — you really can fit all of the hipster downtown NYC-by-way-of-Japan duo’s essential tracks on one disc without leaving anything out. Pom Pom is also well timed: Cibo Matto may have called it quits in 2001, but they were ahead of their time in their playfully omnivorous Gorillaz-style approach to pomo pop, borrowing from as far and wide as breakbeats, Bacharach, and Brazil to create pop confections somewhere just to the left of Beck. Yet for all the experimentalism of Yuka Honda’s mix-and-match productions, the songs here remain accessible. “Sugar Water,” with its trip-hop beat, æthereal vocal harmonies set back in the mix, and half-sung, half-spoken vocals delivered in Miho Hatori’s best little-girl voice, brings to mind Björk. Elsewhere, everything from hip-hop beats and scratching to nylon-string acoustic guitars helps create elaborate, melodic soundscapes for Hatori to sing in English, French, and Japanese about “Sci-Fi Wasabi” and what it takes to “Know Your Chicken.” Of the two previously unreleased tracks, only a Dan the Automator remix of “King of Silence” is revelatory — mostly because Dan and Hatori would go on to collaborate in the first version of Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz
Related: On the racks: October 24, 2006, The tasty return of Cibo Matto, Gorillaz in the midst, More more >
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