AOTY 2021


Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2018 Ratings: #58 / 851
Year End Rank: #10
User Score
2018 Ratings: #16
Liked by 179 people
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Tiny Mix Tapes
In its flows and breakings, it echoes and repeats a fractured self, locating this fracture as something aimed toward futurity, toward a new image of pop music, toward a new mode of being and becoming, toward a new way of moving limbs on a dancefloor with others. It’s incredible.
It seems that SOPHIE has taken on her most challenging project yet: her true self. And this theme permeates ‘OIL OF EVERY PEARL’s UN-INSIDES’, even if, musically, the rest of the album returns to the kind of tracks you’d expect if you’ve followed SOPHIE’s career up to this point.

For all the praise that could be heaped on the bulk of SOPHIE's output, the best that comes to mind is that it sounds like no one else could have made Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides. This is the kind of music that, in 20 years, we may look back on as a pivotal point in changing the trajectory of the pop music sound.

The 405

OIL is a triumphant celebration of identity that’ll mean so much to so many on an incredibly intimate level, but it’s also, objectively, a triumphant artistic achievement.


Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides does not remove all mystery, but is a powerful statement of identity, a shattering of traditional genre boundaries and nuanced, moving expressions of emotion where there once was an inscrutable deadpan. The fact that it all sounds so irresistibly good is the icing on the cake.


Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides reminds us why pop music became popular music in the first place. Its catchy melodies, sing-along capabilities, and relatability provide a far-reaching cultural tool.


While SOPHIE's music has never been simple, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides' complexities and transformations make it a remarkable debut album that reveals more with each listen.

The experimental music of SOPHIE relaxes into new forms on her debut album. It is sprawling and beautiful, while still keeping the disorienting, latex-pop feel of her fascinating production technique.
Resident Advisor

Oil Of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, SOPHIE's first proper album, presents her artistic vision in a purer form than anything she's done before.

There is no one else like Sophie, and thanks to this album, we finally know who that is.
Pretty Much Amazing

Having spent the past few years blessing many artists with some of their best tracks, she now clears them out of the way for Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Sides, a personal triumph that continues her revamping of what pop means today.

The whole thing is a kaleidoscopic tour de force that fully showcases why SOPHIE is one of the music exciting musicians on the planet.
The Guardian
Despite software advances, so many electronic producers are content to lapse into nostalgia or a safe, compromised emotional range; Sophie has crafted a genuinely original sound and uses it to visit extremes of terror, sadness and pleasure.
Rolling Stone
Her first solo album shows that there are even more sides to this virtual-insanity innovator.
Loud and Quiet
The sleek, hyperreal pop bangers that she became known for are certainly present here, but clever sequencing and memorable lyrical mantras form together to create something utterly cathartic.
‘Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ retains the innate oddness that sits at the centre of SOPHIE’s work and, as such, is an album that interrogates the nature of pop music as much as it embodies it.
Crack Magazine

OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES is every bit the full-length statement of purpose SOPHIE’s fans have waited years for; a maturation and refinement of her brand of meta plasticine electro that reflects the sharpened sense of focus that accompanies its creator strutting purposefully into the spotlight.

The Needle Drop
Though structurally jarring, SOPHIE's full-length debut is an unforgettable and potentially DNA-altering pop album.
The Line of Best Fit

We wind up with an album much like its title; Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides is difficult to comprehend, and even knowing the meaning doesn’t make “I love every person’s insides” any less weird. But there always is a meaning, and that’s what makes SOPHIE vital as an artist.

Spectrum Culture

One of the strangest pop albums you will hear this year.

The Observer
While enduringly “other”, tracks like Infatuation and Pretending lack focus, and this wafty iteration isn’t as original as Sophie’s other modes.

By embellishing all that made her so brilliant in the first place, she has forfeited those same qualities. I once loved the kinetic and animated quality of her music; after seeing her pull the strings with trained precision, the magic is ruined, the illusion revealed, the carnival over.

R.I.P. Sophie Xeon.

Usually I don’t speak on things like this once I find out they happen. Writing reviews like this always feel extremely hard to write, but if i’m going to be honest, after hearing the news that Sophie, acclaimed trans-musician, had sadly passed away, I felt like I really needed to talk about my feelings about this record as a testament to what this album meant to me growing up. I don’t know what came over me to write this, and hopefully the meaning of why ... read more
In this day of imense sadness, I reflect in one of my favorite artists of all time. I cannot set my heart to believe what just happened. I cannot cope with the fact that I'll not be having this incredible woman and artist in this world anymore. I will take my months to actually accept what it is, Sophie died and left a legacy that will be remembered for fucking CENTURIES, if the world still even exist after this decade.
The first time I've heard her music my life truly changed, not in a ... read more
A seamless, beautiful, sexy, and phoenominal avant-garde masterpiece! "OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES" is probably one of the most important albums to come out this decade as it places SOPHIE as a benchmark for the many LGBTQ+ artists to come!

*Sniffles* OKAY! I'M CRYING!!! DX DX

EDIT (1/30/21): I’m genuinely heartbroken by the loss of such an amazing, genius, beautiful and, above all else, pioneering producer. Someone who, like Will Toledo, showed me that it was okay to ... read more
I know I know first listen but oh my god this was transcendent. SOPHIE has pushed her sound into areas I could not have seen and every single moment is chilling in the best way. The production throughout is mind bending and consistently interesting. Sure, it's not the most cohesive album, but when you try out so many ideas and get them spot on I can really look past it. This is easily one of the best albums of 2018 and the highest recommendation!

BEST TRACKS: It's Okay To Cry, Ponyboy, ... read more
People tend to pay attention to the technical side of an album in order to review it here, but beyond that this is one of those that hit you in the heart. It's such a powerful, striking and ethereal record about gender dysphoria and self-discovery, being a beautiful portrait of the LGBT community. Every track fits together flawlessly, feels like a story being told. Makes my heart warm. It's a classic.

"I could be anything I want
Anyhow, any place, anywhere
Any form, any shape, anyway, ... read more
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Added on: June 5, 2018