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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2007
Like most people, I first heard of 'Cibo Matto' when I saw them perform on an episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', a show which has a habit of unearthing some remarkably good bands. And these guys are possibly the best of the lot; a musical concatenation of funk, rap, blues, soul, pop, indie...oh, just about anything you can think of. Miho Hatori has the most sensual and fascinating voice I have ever encountered (her vocals on 'Theme' will leave male listeners going 'phew!') and creates such a range of intensity and emotion that you can't help but be suckered in.

There isn't a bad track here and hard to pick out an exceptional one, though 'Sugar Water' (from Buffy) will be the most familiar. It's a gorgeous song, one that just got under my skin when I first heard it and Cibo Matto are able to repeat the trick with 'Apple' and 'Artichoke' (possibly my personal favourite). 'Birthday Cake' is bats but strangely addictive while 'Know Your Chicken' is deliciously mental. Finally, this album has the best lyrics I have ever heard in my life ('he looked me up and down as if I were a restaurant menu' and 'a horse's ass is better than yours' are just two fine examples).

If you're curious about Cibo Matto and want to try them out, I'd start with this album as it's probably their most accessible. They will be far too off-beat for some but in my opinion they're a band worth celebrating.
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Don't be deceived by the title of "Viva La Woman." Or, for that matter, by the metal-braed amazon on the cover. This album, by New York's expatriate duo Cibo Matto, lives up to the name of the band -- it is all about food. Their brand of trippy, sultry pop centers on apples, jerky, cake, chicken, and plenty of other foodstuffs.

It opens with the dark, plodding "Apple," before lurching into the hilarious, jazzy "Beef Jerky." Miho Hatori strikes just the right irreverent note as she sings a string of non sequiturs: "My weight is three hundred pounds/My favorite is beef jerky/I'm a vagabond, I'm a vagabond/My mom says, you are kinky."

From there on, Cibo Matto strikes the right balance between colorful pop and musical irreverence -- ambient sweeps, drum machines, surreal distortion, cutesy breakbeats, peculiar samples and trippy balladry. Above it all, Hatori offers bizarre recipes, tells you to know your chicken, and is shot with bullets of pepper. (I can't make this stuff up)

Certain bands are hard to describe, and even harder to pigeonhole. Cibo Matto is one such band, with their sparkling musical palette and their even more impressive menu. Really, how many bands are brave enough to compare all human emotions to foodstuffs?

Hatori lives up to her description in the liner notes -- she howls, raps, sings, moans and keens, sounding like a bubblegum popster on acid. It takes a pretty brave singer to howl "Extra sugar, extra salt/extra oil and MSG... Shut up and eat!/You know my love is sweet!" She's backed up by Yuka Honda's exquisitely mishmashy pop melodies, which are just a little too dark to be kitschy.

The lyrics are almost as wonderfully weird. At first glance, they look like a sequence of random food phrases strung together. But there are some clever puns woven in, especially in the finale "Artichoke," where Hatori compares her heart to an artichoke, and croons the double entendre: "Can you squeeze a lemon on me...?" Whoa, shades of Led Zeppelin.

Cibo Matto's "Viva La Woman" could have just as easily been "Viva La Lunch." This food-obsessed album is full of enchantingly offbeat pop, but shouldn't be listened to on an empty stomach.
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on 7 July 2004
The title kind of says it all. Cibo Matto have an original sound, how many times can you say that about bands you discover?
This album is daring, soothing, funny, quirky and a whole bunch of other stuff too. But beware, I have a strange taste in music.
Their second release is (if possible) even better!
Nowadays the Asian duo are working solo. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a third album.
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on 27 October 2004
Cibo Matto is Miho Hatori and Yuka Honda, and their music is very quirky indeed. But in a good way . Alot of the songs have have quite jazzy elements. My favorite songs were: Beef Jerky, Birthday Cake and Know Your Chicken. I found out about this band from Birthday Cake being on Jet Set Radio Future, and I'm glad I did so!
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on 20 August 2003
This album is one of the greatest ever! Seven years down the line and it still sounds amazing! How many albums can compete with that?
The Tracks:
1)Apple:- Slow, sensual and strong.
2)Beef Jerky:- Comical, upbeat and simple.
3)Sugar Water:- One of the greatest songs of all time, sexy and unique.
4)White Pepper Ice Cream:- Calm, Chilled and Relaxed.
5)Birthday Cake:- Loud, Proud and Bold.
6)Know Your Chicken:- Eclectic, Happy and Off The Wall.
7)Theme:- Cool, crisp and caring.
8)The Candy Man:- Elegant, Light and Listenable.
9)Le Pain Perdu:- Joyful, Jazzy and Jam-Packed full of class.
10)Artichoke:- Metaphorical and slow with a Native American influence.
Buy It Now!
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on 2 June 2008
Call it a guilty pleasure if you wish. Japanese girls singing/rapping/screaming pop songs about food over various grooves and beats; I sometimes wonder why I bother listening to anything else. Know your chicken!
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on 2 June 2014
Great album by cibo matto, I realy only bought for sugar water as I'm a buffy the vampire slayer fan but I love the rest of the album to...will use this seller again as my order came early
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on 23 February 2012
I like this CD, it is retro and querky but some of the songs are a little TOO far out, i like it but it is a required taste, i recomend it for anyone who is looking for a fun, random CD.
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on 26 January 2016
The CD case arrived completely broken.
The album was inside the box loose and without any protection material!
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