June 07, 1999 12:00 PM

Cibo Matto (Warner Bros.)

One end-of-the-century theory predicts that the Next Big Thing in music will be a julienne of every style that was popular over the past 100 years. This delightfully eclectic Japanese-born pop duo with the funny Italian name certainly helps support that theory. Cibo Matto (pronounced chee-bo mott-o), whose moniker translates loosely as “food crazy,” sing in English. Now transplanted to New York City, they also incorporate bossa nova, heavy metal and even hip hop into their music. One of the pair, Yuka Honda, dates Sean Lennon, son of a very influential 20th-century musician. And Lennon plays bass, drums and other instruments on the album.

As weirdly diverse as all this sounds, Stereotype A sparkles with bright harmonies, clever lyrics and dance-friendly rhythms. At turns deeply soulful (“King of Silence”) and anachronistically upbeat (“Flowers”), the CD surprises most when it plucks, say, a trumpet cliché from the cool-jazz era and plops it into a fresher, funkier context (“Stone”). When things go wrong, though, the results seem a little like the Spice Girls lost in a Godzilla movie.

Bottom Line: Fun, futuristic female pop duo

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