(Photo Credit - Brian Ziff)
Advance Review - Soccer Mommy: color theory, (February 28, 2020)
Nashville native Sophie Allison already has one of the most critically acclaimed albums in recent memory under her belt with her 2018 release of Clean. Now she's back with the multi-themed and brutally honest release of color theory. According to Allison, the album analyzes three central themes based around color. The first is blue, which represents depression. Next is yellow, which is representative of physical and emotional illness. Finally, gray symbolizes darkness, emptiness, and loss.
Lyrically, Allison is emotionally raw on color theory, for example, in "circle the drain", Allison effortlessly sings "I'm trying to seem strong for my love / For my family and friends / But I'm so tired of faking / 'Cause I'm chained to my bed when they're gone / Watching TV alone / Until my body starts aching". This lyric is a perfect encapsulation of depression. On "royal screw up", Allison delivers another gut punch of a lyric when she sings "But you let me in and / you will regret it / Cause I'm only looking / For my skewed reflection in you". On "stain" she has fantastic lyrics that capture negative interpersonal relationships like "And I hate the things / That get trapped inside my throat / How you made me feel / With your words like chloroform". Allison's sharp lyrical talents from Clean have continued onto color theory and we are here for it.
Musically, the album is pretty diverse with tracks that are a bit slowed down and acoustic like "night swimming", "up the walls", and stain. She also includes songs that resemble more traditional Soccer Mommy tracks, (i.e. upbeat melodic tracks with prominent guitar work) such as "circle the drain", "yellow is the color of her eyes", and "Lucy".
color theory is masterfully crafted in it's construction. No hint of a sophomore slump here. Each song leads well to the other and there's nothing that feels out of place. Allison is so effective at capturing themes of depression, emptiness, and loss both with her lyrical ability and the melodies throughout the album. Clean did quite a bit to catapult Soccer Mommy into alt-stardom, seeing her opening for bands like Vampire Weekend and Wilco. She also played festivals like Coachella and Primavera Sound. I can only imagine what color theory will do as she's introduced to new audiences and shows continued success. I've been pounding the Soccer Mommy drum for a while and continue to do so with color theory. The sky is the limit for Sophie Allison.
Rating - 5/5