Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever Music Album Reviews

Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever Music Album Reviews
As the shadows deepen on Sophie Allison’s third album, she sees into the lie on the other side of success: You can win, but you still have to live with yourself.

Sophie Allison sings from the exhaustion at the end of a big feeling. Across her work as Soccer Mommy, she has excavated that point after despair or elation where your nerves reel back from overdrive, when the intensity wanes and you’re left with the blankness of yourself. Since releasing her debut studio album, Clean, in 2018, she’s worked to heighten the contrasts of her guitar-based songs. The 2020 LP color theory drew vintage synthesizers and layered sampling into the mix, expanding the space in which her wry, acerbic, and poignant lyrics could play. On her latest album, Sometimes, Forever, Allison teams with Daniel Lopatin of the retrofuturist electronic project Oneohtrix Point Never, whose production deepens the shadows in her songwriting. Soccer Mommy’s music has often folded in the bitter and the melancholy, but this is the first time Allison has faced down danger so squarely.

At the heart of Sometimes, Forever lurks the axiom that nothing lasts. The most vivid triumphs and hollowing depressions each evaporate in turn. Though repeated to the point of cliché, “this too shall pass” butts up against another persistent cultural narrative: That it’s possible to make it, that if your output or your essence is good enough, you’ll ascend, be rewarded, never work a day in your life. By now, Allison has shored away enough cultural capital that she can see into the lie on the other side of success. You can win, but you still have to live with yourself.

“I lost myself to a dream I had/And I’d never give it all away/But I miss feeling like a person,” Allison sings on the album’s swirling closer, “Still.” Throughout Sometimes, Forever, she and Lopatin expand on the ’90s palette that has characterized previous Soccer Mommy releases. Bolstering the lingering imprints of Liz Phair, Sheryl Crow, and Sleater-Kinney is a healthy dose of Loveless worship: glide guitars and tendrils of haze. “Darkness Forever,” with its abundant negative space and snaking bassline, calls back to the menacing creases of Portishead’s Dummy: Allison’s half-whispered vocals rise from the pit of her stomach as they orbit the kind of self-destruction ideation that feels permanent in its intensity. The minimally melodic pummel of “Unholy Affliction” echoes PJ Harvey’s work with Steve Albini on her second album Rid of Me. A choked-out bassline thrums underneath the heaviest percussion yet to appear on a Soccer Mommy song, an agitated pattern whose busyness counterbalances Allison’s lank vocal delivery. “I’m barely a person/Mechanically working,” she sings, hinting at the churn demanded of an artist once the system decides their work is valuable and wants more of the same, forever.

Between these bleaker points, Allison’s characteristic humor and wit still glimmer. The advance single “Shotgun” boasts a pitch-perfect Soccer Mommy line at its chorus, set there like a crown jewel: “Whenever you want me, I’ll be around/I’m a bullet in a shotgun waiting to sound.” One second we’re on the receiving end of a sunny, weightless show of devotion; the next we’re staring down the barrel of a deadly weapon. Allison’s invitation to pull the trigger holds both poles: boundless love and fathomless threat. They’re indivisible. The sun gilds the summer evening and it’s also a nuclear inferno.

“I don’t know how to feel things small/It’s a tidal wave or nothing at all,” Allison sings on “Still.” The couplet recalls a similar totalizing switch in Dinosaur Jr.’s deadpan alt-rock hit “Feel the Pain”: “I feel the pain of everyone/Then I feel nothing.” It’s a duality common enough to culture workers, people whose art is tasked with carrying the feelings of so many others they’ll never meet. For a little while, you’re everything to everyone. Then the show wraps, or the needle loops, and the vacuum of individuality sets in: you’re only yourself to yourself. Sometimes, Forever reckons with that whiplash, surfing its highs and puddling in its lows—wondering, maybe, if there’s a humanizing middle ground somewhere between being an image aloft on a billboard and a body alone in a room.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever Music Album Reviews Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on July 01, 2022 Rating: 5


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