The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Soccer Mommy – ‘Color Theory’ (Loma Vista / Concord)


In a sentence:

Sophie Allison’s second Soccer Mommy album ‘Color Theory’ is much darker and more unflinchingly personal than her sensational debut.

Grief, depression, ill health, loneliness, anxiety – these are just a few of the subjects tarred onto Color Theory which reveal Sophie Allison more clearly through her Soccer Mommy guise, and sees her more vulnerable than ever before. The topics touched on this album make it incredibly relatable and important, particularly for anyone suffering similarly.

In a lot of ways, Color Theory is an intimate album. It is not easy to lay it all bare and saying “this is what I’ve been dealing with”, but this is exactly what Allison does with her second record as she sings about her mother’s long-time battle with cancer on ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’ – indolently she croons “Loving you isn’t enough / You’ll still be deep in the ground when it’s done”. This despondent, blunt comprehension of reality offers this seven-minute song even more gravitas and power. ‘gray light’ is in a similar league (“I can’t lose it/I’m watching my mother drown”).

Music video for ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’

Happiness makes a swift exit on ‘bloodstream’ as Allison likens it to a firefly absconding from between her fingers (“happiness is like a firefly on summer free evenings / Feel it slipping through my fingers / But I can’t catch it in my hands”). The guitars on new single ‘circle the drain’ do not match the melancholy of the lyrics but make for a forlorn anthem about keeping it together (“Tryna stay strong for my love / For my family and friends / But I’m so tired of faking”). Allison crowns herself “the princess of screwing up” on ‘royal screw up’ and repeatedly begs the devil to quit taunting her on ‘lucy’.

Music video for ‘circle the drain’

Interestingly, there are elements of ‘night swimming’ that are strongly reminiscent of ‘Still Clean’ from her 2018 breakthrough Clean. On the surface of it, Allison’s vocals on her follow-up may not be ones to turn heads, but they hold the whole record together, her almost casual tone against the ambitious, sometimes euphoric guitar riffs and strums juxtaposing nicely. Color Theory is a strong successor to Clean, tackling important issues in her own personal life and letting us a little more into the world of Sophie Allison. (7/10) (Rebecca Corbett)

Listen to Color Theory by Soccer Mommy here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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