SoKo - My Dreams Dictate My Reality - 9.2

3/9/15
Soko - My Dreams Dictate My Reality

BitCandy Rating: 9.2

 

SOKO - “TEMPORARY MOOD SWINGS”

“Mostly all the fucked up stuff. Anxiety, mixed up emotions, heartbreak, pains, panic attacks invading my mind. There’s a lot of crazy voices up there unable to go on living if I don’t write down what they have to say. So I’m a slave to my haunted head, a slave to my emotions, and doomed to live with the weight of being born hyper-sensitive.”

That’s Soko talking to After Ellen, explaining where her inspiration for her second LP, My Dreams Dictate My Reality, came from. When you read that, the drastic departure this record takes from her debut, I Thought I Was An Alien, starts to make sense. The Parisian singer/actress still shares the same heart-on-her-sleeve sob stories on this record, only they’re expressed in far different way. At least musically.

 

SOKO - “WHO WEARS THE PANTS?”

On this particular LP, Soko seems to have (mostly) ditched Fiona Apple and CocoRosie as her #spiritanimal in favor of Patti Smith and Ian Curtis (Don’t kill yourself Stéphanie!). Sonically this album has some heavy 80’s darkwave synth on it. This expansion of her sonic pallet also finds Ms. Sokolinski improving by leaps and bounds as songwriter. I really enjoyed her 1st record, but nothing about suggested she had something this good and strange within her.

The same combination of wit and emotional charge that was present on “I’ll Kill Her” all those years ago still drives her lyrics. Only now she wields her words with far greater precision and dramatic oomph. Ariel Pink stops by for a pair of songs that straddle the line between fun and hipster kitsch. Just like Mr. Pink!

 

SOKO - “LOVETRAP (FT. ARIEL PINK)”

Fans of the minimalist Soko found on the first LP will be happy to find that the singer hasn’t entirely abandoned that sound, with callback tracks like “Bad Poetry” and the album closer “Keaton’s Song,” which I can only assume is about the leading man of Birdman.

While the switch in styles is jarring at first and may alienate some listeners, it is ultimately for the better. Soko sounds more comfortable and sure of herself than ever here. It’s just one man’s opinion, but I think it is quite definitively for the better.

Well done, Mademoiselle. 

 

About Calvin Paradise

Calvin Paradise manages to live a productive life despite a childhood of home schooling and suffering from what some doctors have called the worst case of Groucho Marx's Syndrome in recorded history.