Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Alfie Templeman, IDLES, LANY and loads more.
Order a copy
October 2020
Album review

Soccer Mommy - Color Theory

An artist taking the difficult second album in their stride.
Label: Concord Records
Released: 28th February 2020
Rating: ★★★★★
Soccer Mommy - Color Theory
Published: 4:11 pm, February 28, 2020Words: Blaise Radley.

Soccer Mommy may sound like the name of a super ironic snark rock band, but Sophie Allison's music is anything but. Sincere, timely and unadorned, Allison crafts the sort of moody bedroom pop destined to soundtrack countless mornings spent staring through rainy window panes. Thanks to her dry humour, she comfortably has her cake and eats it.

If her 2018 breakthrough, 'Clean', showed a clear knack for catchy melodies and tautly-strung emotional autopsies, 'Color Theory' exhibits a developing degree of songwriting maturity. Sure, she may winkingly refer to herself as "The princess of screwing up" on 'royal screw up', but that's just one of many apt metaphors for the self-doubt incurred by a toxic relationship. Even if the record is a slow burner at points, Allison consistently burns with an intensity.

Regardless of her propensity for smouldering, 'Bloodstream' kicks the album off with a bang. Its raucous-yet-laid-back 90s slacker rock tone sends a clear message; everything is a little different, but the same. Certainly, there was nothing like the seven-minute mini-epic 'yellow is the color of my eyes' on 'Clean', even if the tools she's using are largely unchanged. What stands out is still Allison's knack for crafting simple, wrenching compositions.

As a lyricist, Allison is all limits and knots, each pithy observation pushing her one step closer to catharsis. Though there are some lovely poetic turns of phrase threaded through 'Color Theory', she lands her greatest shots when she's incontestably blunt. The simple impact of the hook on 'crawling in my skin' which is (you guessed it) "Crawling in my skin" comes from the weight Allison's strained vocal imbues it with. Thanks to her forthright honesty, it never feels forced.

At ten tracks this is an explicitly restrained follow-up - the sign of an artist taking the difficult second album in their stride. The back half feels a little weaker than the first, but there's a remarkable consistency that ensures all the component pieces are singing from the same hymn sheet. Though the emotions expressed might be broad, Allison's unvarnished writing allows for moments of penetrating nuance. Her ability to laugh and cry at these reflections is what makes her such a charming talent.

Give all this a try

Griff: "There's something about uplifting, major-sounding pop that makes me feel good"
Feature

Griff: "There's something about uplifting, major-sounding pop that makes me feel good"

With an Ivor Novello nom already under her belt, Griff is one of pop’s bright new hopes.
Cast your vote in the Dork Reader's Poll 2020!
HRRRNK!

Cast your vote in the Dork Reader's Poll 2020!

It's that time again! Tell us what you've been into this year.
Saweetie: "Music is more than the fame, it's more than the money - it's helping people"
Feature

Saweetie: "Music is more than the fame, it's more than the money - it's helping people"

Multi-platinum rapper extraordinaire, Saweetie isn’t about to become a superstar - she already is one.
Yungblud has announced a new 'intimate as fuck' UK tour for 2021
On the road

Yungblud has announced a new 'intimate as fuck' UK tour for 2021

He'll hit the road next March.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing