Consumer Guide Album
Sophie: Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides [Transgressive/Future Classic, 2018]
The riskiest tracks here are the two where the London-to-L.A. producer-vocalist suppresses one half or the other of her disorienting stealth-comic synthesis: the opening "It's Okay to Cry," which leans hard on the soprano whose dulcet artifice is believed by some metaphysicians to represent her TRUE SELF, and the six-minute "Pretending," all strident squalls and swells that roll slowly to a stop like hardening lava or a Harley slurping its last ounce of fuel. Often I tune out the first and get annoyed with the second. But the rest of the album is all laughs and thrills in which sweet clarity defies a panoply of beaty techno sound effects at different junctures every time you listen. For me the most reliable comes as a reward right after "Pretending": "Immaterial," where she has the generosity to grant one of technodancepop's most generic and cheerful riffs the Sophie version of eternal life.