Well, this review has materialised far sooner than I was expecting, mainly because it is absolutely phenomenal and if any indication about what we can expect from her next album, “Cinema Beijing”, then we are in for a real treat. I shall try and curb my desire to throw every superlative going at this review, but it really is superb.
The album’s opener is simply called “The Laptop Diaries (Intro)” and feels like Sophia’s version of an orchestral warm-up; she types away heavily and then coos some explanatory words for the album. “The Laptop Diaries” then launches in to “Stockholm Calling” with its chorus reminiscent of a dawdling version of Annie’s “Hard Knock Life” and even managing a name-check for ABBA along the way. The pulsating grunt of “Girls Like Me” follows, sounding like something that wouldn’t go amiss on one of Robyn‘s album; indeed she co-wrote “Time Machine” on Robyn’s latest album, “Body Talk”.
“Stockholm Calling” music video:
From this point onwards the album really begins to hit its stride. The run from “Warm-Blooded Murder” through to “Fighters” is pure bliss. Whether it’s the hypnotic, electronic-trickling of “Warm-Blooded Murder”, the stuttering urgency of “Fighters”, or the magical, melancholic harmonies of “Dry Eye for the Guy”, this album really doesn’t let up.
“I-rony” music video and another superb track:
The last third of the album seems to take a slightly more emotional, laid-back turn with a track apparently about a fraught relationship with a step-mother (“Stepmonster”) and another with heart-breaking lyrics in the form of a dialogue with an Ex who she’s unwilling to let go (“The Proposition”).
Lyric excerpt from “The Proposition”:
“but last night when I saw your face,
standing there with your suitcase,
looking like you’re on your way
silently I’m yelling, “stay!”
She wrote and recorded all the tracks on her laptop (hence the name) generating a very experimental and almost fringe sound, though by the very nature of her instrument library being heavily, if not wholly electronic, it does have a slight retro vibe to it. Sophia Somajo really comes across as a force to be reckoned with. “The Laptop Diaries” suggests it’s merely a matter of time before she becomes a better-known entity in the world of music.
I highly recommend you buy this if you like Róisín Murphy’s “Ruby Blue” album, are a fan of artists like The Bird & The Bee and Robyn, or are just after something a bit different.