But Sophie was more prodigious musical talent than pop star in the making. She had a way with words, and such a complex musicality that her ability to coo in a poppy way was the red herring in her pop makeup. Although she sang in Madonna's register at times, she bore no other resemblance.
Her debut album, Tongues and Tails (1992) offered proof of how she was already on a way more sophisticated plane, which instantly made her a critic's darling; but her sexual ambiguity and bohemian styling made her more difficult to market as anything other than a singer songwriter. While Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover was a heady, hypnotic mix of dirty beats, sexy spoken and sung parts, complete with sapphic references, much of the debut was less textured; more the sound of an urban hippy teenager growing into a singer songwriter.
In the hands of Madonna, Right Beside You, the first single from her sophomore effort Whaler, would have been a monster hit; ironic that the vocals on that track often are reminiscent of Madonna. In Sophie's hands, although it was a major pop accomplishment, it was a minor moment for pop lovers. On the other hand, fellow second album track, As I Lay Me Down To Sleep, was one of those radio staples at a time in which we preferred our music a little plaintive, sad, lilting. The mid 1990s were the time of the Cranberries and Prozac, critical elements of mainstream culture that were later proven to offer nothing but a placebo effect.
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