Soccer Mommy - Clean Album Review
Twenty-year-old Sophie Allison explores the disappointment of love and heartbreak on her newest record, Clean. The singer-songwriter, who goes by the stage name of Soccer Mommy, joins a collection of other female indie artists in the scene who have set out on a mission of expression and self-exploration through their music. Allison accomplishes a simple indie rock album with emotional and easily relatable themes on Clean.
If someone were to take Sophie Allison’s diary, the stories would most likely be similar to the stories told on the tracks of this record. Anyone who has experienced heartbreak can relate to the content of this album in some form. In one song Allison sings about hating someone yet missing them at the same time, and in another, she compares herself to an ex-girlfriend. From betrayals to personal insecurities, she shares these feelings through engaging and empathetic narrative lyrics in order to express these universal emotions with her listeners.
After releasing several albums on Bandcamp, Sophie Allison turned her bedroom project into Soccer Mommy and signed to a record label. Although she has released music before this album, Clean is her debut studio album. Rather than altering her sound, Allison avoided the temptations of going overboard with production elements and decided to stick to her simple instrumental roots of guitar-driven indie rock. This production decision gives Clean an upbeat and energetic tone throughout even when some of the lyrics cover heavier topics.
Clean is a consistent album and a pleasant listen from start to finish. However, despite how impressive Soccer Mommy’s work on this record is, it struggles to find it’s own unique voice among the dozens of other albums from female indie-rock singers with similar styles. Julien Baker, Frankie Cosmos and Mitski are just a few musicians creating music that sound like inspirations for lesser-known bedroom artists like Sophie Allison. It is not necessarily a bad thing that Allison’s music is evidently inspired by those who came before her, but she doesn’t do much besides synthesize these inspirations instead of bringing a personal touch or take to styles of her inspirations. Clean might be popular in the indie music scene for a period of time now, but it will quickly be overshadowed by another indie artist doing the same thing with the same musical inspirations. Allison won’t be nearly as successful as those who came before her until she can capitalize on a unique sonic direction in the same way she has been able to bring a unique energy to her lyrics.
Soccer Mommy’s debut album will be one that is easy to come back to but not after forgetting about it first. If Sophie Allison can continue to progress her own personal songwriting touches just as she has throughout her bedroom career, she’s likely to figure out her own style and combine that with the strong personality present in her lyrics to create something special that showcases her true self. She may even be the singer inspiring a new generation of artists recording music in their bedrooms one day.
Jenna Minnig is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email at firstname.lastname@example.org.