Soko – I Thought I Was an Alien Soko – I Thought I Was an Alien

It would be a real riddle where to begin with this release by Soko or SoKo, if you will (though to blunt, I prefer Soko). After releasing an EP, Not Sokute in 2007, which sported ironic lyrics that kind of scraped the surface of the female state of mind while dealing with typical relationship issues, Soko put out I Thought I Was An Alien just this February. As her first complete album, it strikes a heart-wrecking and sincere perspective on her endeavors in love and temperament.

When it comes to the arrangements, the bulk of Soko’s work is best characterized by some sort of minimalism and lo-fi nature. This comes as no shock taking into account her recent interviews, wherein she clarifies that Daniel Johnston and Leonard Cohen have been two great influences on this album. My favorite thing about Soko’s full-length debut is her accent and the sweetness and vulnerability of her voice, as it is projected into the songs, consistently assuming the leading role. Originally I felt rather scared the album would disparage me. Still, after listening to certain songs I finally decided to give in to an appropriate listen. Responsively, the lyricism, while being really grim, doesn’t transport its gloominess to the listener. Overwhelmed with references to homicidal, envious, backstabbing and passionate incidents within love affairs Soko decides to stop ice-skating on the surface and buries the knife as hard as she can. As very exclusive and intimate thoughts are confessed, they are engulfed into lush and resonant twee pop, folk-like, lo-fi compositions. Essentially avoiding clichés and successfully finding unfamiliar ways to illuminate commonplace situations, the lyrical side of the album stays fresh and gripping.

The opener “I Want To Make It New With You” is a fair track that works splendidly as an introduction to Soko’s vision for this album. A new start, a new relationship, paralyzing the sexual affairs with the relationship an artist maintains with their audience. Afterwards a streak of fantastically dreamy songs that warm and afflict one’s heart follows. Initially introducing the sunshine pumped pop melodies of “I Thought I Was An Alien” and “People Always Look Better In The Sun”. Content-wise the former song refers to the alienation eventually felt towards other people when oneself is single. There’s a particular focus on the romance and awkwardness lying in the atmosphere regarding a standard meeting of two people and inevitable introduction to a romantic relationship. Gradually, the album heads towards a downslide, reaching lows (emotionally wise) with the nervous and gut-wrenching “For Marlon”. After a while, it’s perceptible that the quality of the material deteriorates. Regardless of that phenomenon, then comes the highlight of this release, “Destruction of the Disgusting Ugly Hate”, a somewhat liberating and justified hatred aimed against the barriers and obstacles often placed by egoistic personalities clashing within a relationship. Instantly captivating, it’s as melancholic as it is resplendent.

Editors Note: Pinpoint is pleased and enthusiastic to welcome our new writer HunkyDory all the way from Greece. Hunky has been spending a considerable amount of time going through all of Pinpoint’s dream pop cassettes and looking longingly out the window on rainy days.

Soko - I Thought I Was an Alien, reviewed by HunkyDory on 2012-11-27T13:56:27+00:00 rating 3.9 out of 5



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