Here is an album that I hoped promised so much: A newly established Scandinavian female electronic artist, fresh from her Hayce project on Memento Materia, being presented on the fantastic Mitek label. How can you go wrong? Well unfortunately I have to say that the album "Hi-fi" is at best a tale of two halves; on the one side you have amazing (at times) retro-istic (retro + futuristic) instrumentation, which is more often than not backed up by what can only be described as chronic overuse of the old vocoda voice trick (if in doubt try to remember Cher’s "Do You Believe" vocal - aah).
The album itself starts pleasantly enough, the track "In Your Mind" being an example of quirky synthpop, but unfortunately from here it never seems to get beyond the "nice" stage. There are some truly unexpected elements thrown into the mix, but they all appear over rather dated 80’s style songs, as if the sound of that decades electro hits were being forced through a mangler.
Unfortunately I saw this album as being a bit of a one-trick pony - distorted deep beats with added distortion and distorted vocal over the top - it left me thinking if Sophie could actually sing, or if she was trying to hide behind that infernal vocoda!
The worst track by far has to be "Sunlight", a truly awful track which is quite painful on the ears. While listening to this track I actually began to imagine where this would be played - in a club? - at home? - I am still wondering even now.
So as not to appear too negative (which wouldn’t be fair as there are enough individual touches here to suggest a very rich vein of creativity) I must point out the highlights of the album. "M" is a quality track, and should have been the blueprint for the rest of the album, in my opinion. Here the elements all seem to connect perfectly to give an idea of what this album could have been. Along with the track "Batman" which shows great use of vocals, backed up by cool beats and orchestra-style cut-ups.
All in all, the album is at best bland, but does show a promising future (as long as no vocoda usage is involved, that is).