Search - Miho Hatori :: Ecdysis

Miho Hatori
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Miho Hatori
Title: Ecdysis
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Rykodisc
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 10/24/2006
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Indie & Lo-Fi
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 014431088124, 014431088162

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CD Reviews

At Long Last: Miho's Masterpiece
Dan Mohr | Lynnwood, WA, USA | 11/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For longtime fans of Cibo Matto, Miho Hatori's first solo album (not counting her lovely LP's worth of South American-influenced duets and covers with Smokey Hormel) is, finally, more than worth the wait. Her old Cibo Matto bandmate Yuka Honda, most famous for standing behind the keyboards and handling backup vocals, has already released two solo albums of her own on the Tzadzik label, and while both (particularly `Memories Are My Only Witness') are quite accomplished, they still feel like incomplete sketches of fully realized albums. And yet, the musical inventiveness and pop brilliance of Cibo Matto was occasionally on view, enough to make one wonder if it was really Honda who was pulling the strings in the band, and Hatori who was only adding her famous, gorgeous, childlike yet womanly lead vocals to the proceedings.

Ecdysis puts all those skewed assumptions to rest. It is, in fact, the very best project that either Hatori or Honda have been involved in since Cibo Matto's much-heralded first album, Viva! La Woman - it happily stands alongside that album as being a perfectly realized piece of dreamy electronic-ambient pop confections. And unlike Honda's last two releases, there isn't a single trivial or redundant track on Ecdysis - it all coheres together to form a marvelous musical expression of beauty, warmth, and of course eccentric (and thoroughly charming) originality. With its strong emphasis on ballads, it most clearly resembles Bjork's trip-hop masterpiece `Homogenic.' But Hatori takes her music and makes it definingly her own: `Song For Kids' is sung exclusively in Japanese, and numbers like `Walking City' and `Spirit of Juliet' reside entirely inside Hatori's own lyrical universe, yet are poetic and evocative enough to take you along for the ride. Hatori doesn't forget about the party, though - she gets her & our groove on in preposterously infectious fashion with `Barracuda,' `Song For Kids,' and most notably in `Sweet Samsara Part II,' where she actually seems to coin a new musical genre: Buddhist funk! Her delightful exhortation for us to "flow with me, flow!" might even get the Dalai Lama to hit the dancefloor in platform shoes. But the pure beauty of musical balladry is ultimately Hatori's finest achievement - the completely magical torch songs `In Your Arms' and `River of 3 Crossings' are as delicate and shimmering and transcendent as anything in Bjork's (or for that matter Cibo Matto's) entire repertoire."
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 11/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I adored Cibo Matto's deliciously wonky, colourful pop. And I adored Yuka Honda's solo projects after the bandmates went their own ways.

So it isn't exactly shocking that I also adore Miho Hatori's solo debut. It's a funky, electronic frolic through a sparkling landscape, with Hatori dipping through various global styles, indulging in little quirks that seem appropriate for her music. It's a charming experience, sort of like a poppier Bjork.

It opens with a soft organ melody. Then Hatori's sweet voice starts crooning... well, it sounds like "she steps on me," but it's actually "shine steps, shine steps on me..." As the keyboard and synth smooth out into a soft, blippy melody, she continues singing of a hallucinatory trip full of trees and "seven colors of waterfalls."

Things change big-time with "A Song For Kids." Catchy beats start tapping away as Hatori croons in Japanese, taking a brief break in ambient territory before returning to electro-tribal turf. Then Hatori slips into the ethereal "In Your Arms," a romantic little ballad in the Imogen Heap mold.

From there, Hatori shimmies into a series of songs that try out every style electronica can be in: harmonica pop with sputtery synth, spare synth balladry with drum machines, Sanskrit electro-funk ("I give you sweet samsara!"), futuristic pop, blip-folk, and it finishes up with the eccentric little "Amazona."

Hatori obviously has talent -- and music styles -- to burn. At first, it sounds like she is another slightly odd electro-pop artist, who has a lot of unusual instrumentation of sorts. Then after "In Your Arms," the whole tone changes. No longer is it merely pop, but Hatori's own little universe.

Okay, "Today is Like That" is unusually banal for this album. But Hatori spends more time in stranger lyrics territory -- future worlds where plant life has died and "my dad is an inspector of messages from insects," a goddess is walking on the milky way and another in the woods. The most striking is "Spirit of Juliet," about a clone who feels the love and longing of her "mother."

And those Hatori World lyrics are wrapped up in extremely fun music. Hatori blends funk, electronica, pop and sampling into the same songs, spicing up the basic electropop with fun, colourful edges. Horns, accordions, harmonica, drum machines, bells and singing birds all make their way in at the right moment.

Miho Hatori took a little longer than her ex-bandmate for this solo debut, but it was worth the wait -- it's an enchanting, fantastical little album of catchy pop. Fun and bizarre, and definitely worth it."
A Break from Cibo Matto
Denver Dilettante | Colorado USA | 07/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Congratulations Miho Hatori. Your charming and mysterious voice and your eclectic musical influences have combined to result in this wonderful musical experience.

"Ecdysis" deserves a wider audience than it will probably receive. The cover art (by Hatori) may be a little amateurish, but the music inside is some of the most quirkily melodic stuff out there. The instrumentation is consistently innovative, and the lyrics are simultaneously fun and provocative. Listen to it!"