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Miho Hatori

Japanese female singers don't always work. Remember how great Cibo Matto was? Remember how forgettable Deerhoof is? Exactly. It only makes sense that Miho Hatori, the mastermind behind the glory that was Cibo Matto, would go on to great things. Miho Hatori's solo album Ecdysis probably wouldn't be the best album to ease a virgin listener into - someone that doesn't already like her music would write her off as just another J-Pop band. But Hatori is so much more than that.

I like the meaning of the first song, "Ecdysis" which gave the album its name. The entire album focuses around the system of ecdysis, the cicada's system of shedding it's outer skin. Essentially, Hatori claims that without ecdysis of humans, or change, that man will stop his evolution in its tracks. Which makes sense, when you think about it.

The third track, "In Your Arms," is a sweet song, simple and meaningful, and written in a way more songs should be. With lyrics like "I am lost in your words / I want to stay here for a while…slowly I'm sinking into you," how could you not love the song, especially with the knowledge that the song was written about her mother. If you ignore the way she was "rost" instead of "lost," the song may become one of your favorites. The next song, "Barracuda," makes me laugh. If Hatori had the pipes, it could be the next James Bond theme song.

Ignore the broken English on her website and check out her "comments for songs" as you listen. Songs that had been simple before, or just written in another language, unfold when you understand what lies behind the lyrics. Besides, I dare you not to smile when she talks about what it feels like to become an "Amazon worrier." Come on, that's cute!

-Caitlin McGuire

Track Listing:
1. Ecdysis
2. A Song For Kids
3. In Your Arms
4. Barracuda
5. The Spirit Of Juliet
6. Walking City
7. Sweet Samsara Part 1 & Part 2
8. Today Is Like That
9. The River of 3 Crossings
10. Amazona

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