I like to think I’m not one of those people (and just starting a sentence that way is probably a bad sign) who expects an artist to keep making the same album over and over again, but I have to admit I’m pretty happy that when Cibo Matto reunited after a 15 year hiatus they made something sounding more like their supremely left-field debut than their somewhat poppier second record (which I thought I’d love because I was heavily into both them and Sean Lennon at the time, but I found the result too… normal? Too poppy when that didn’t feel like it was their natural idiom?). Anyway, Hotel Valentine sounds like the Cibo Matto I fell in love with.
Thematically the album’s about a hotel haunted by a ghost girl, who’s naturally preoccupied with the same pleasures of the flesh that Cibo Matto usually dig deep into—eating, loving, dancing, getting high. The concept works great from a musical standpoint, too; their sound collage style throws a lot of familiar elements at you but in unexpected ways, disjointed and adhering to some other logic, like a dream (“Is it real or is it dream?” they sing in “Déjà Vu“) or The Palm-Wine Drinkard or Spirited Away… it’s the disorienting sound of straddling the real world and the spirit world.
Anyway, I’m really glad they’re working together again. They remain unique and wonderful. Here’s “MFN” (NSFW due to language).
Buy it here.