On Friday, Feb. 28, Soccer Mommy emerged from her nearly two-year musical hiatus and blessed us with the dulcet tones of her latest album, “Color Theory.” The ten-track album offers the perfect dose of an early 2000s pop daydream. The chord progressions are nostalgic, yet have an air of new beginnings. “Color Theory” is a melodic expression of personal reckoning; it’s a sonic insight into the inner-workings of her incredibly human struggles. The album is incredibly sad, yet immaculately beautiful. Soccer Mommy allows us to feel our own feelings as she takes us through hers. She humanizes the emotions we tend to avoid thinking about, recognizing their importance and their value without wallowing.
The album starts with “bloodstream,” a head-first dive into the pure emotion and honesty that the album encapsulates. With lyrics in the chorus like “there’s someone talking in my forehead that says I’ll never be enough,” Soccer Mommy refuses to shy away from her emotional truth. “Bloodstream” transitions to “circle the drain,” the second single to be released from the album. “Circle the drain” is perhaps the most attainable of the album. The line “I’m trying to seem strong for my love, for my family and friends but I’m so tired of faking” catches the listener off guard, echoing a common feeling that is rarely admitted. Sonically, the track is the most reminiscent of the resolution of an early 2000’s coming-of-age movie; it’s transporting.
The next track, “royal screw up,” is an angsty self-reflection, almost glorifying the mistakes we’re bound to make. The song starts with Soccer Mommy taking a breath, allowing herself to delve into the song. Following that is “crawling in my skin,” one of the more instrumentally intricate tracks. The track itself doesn’t lend itself to any new lyrical discoveries, however, its sentiments remain valuable. The album reaches its climax with “yellow is the color of her eyes,” the seven-minute epic. The track details the hardships Soccer Mommy faces with being apart from her mother as she falls ill. The track is all-enveloping, and it’s a truly consuming experience.
As the album begins its descent, “up the walls” describes the feeling of someone knowing you only as a version of yourself that was perhaps better before. It focuses on the dependence we feel from the people who’ve known us at our best, therefore understanding that anything short of that is perhaps — and hopefully — only an in-between. The next track, “lucy” was the first single to be released, setting the tone for the energy of the album as a whole. The premise of “lucy” is like a game, with a refrain in the chorus reading, “Oh, Lucy, please, quit taunting me.” While melodically the track doesn’t differ from the rest of the album, there’s a new level of playfulness that’s quite refreshing.
The penultimate track, “stain,” outlines the strife that comes from the feeling of being tied to someone and the pressure of feeling the same when you’re really growing apart. It’s one of the few tracks on the album that is not negative in the self-reflective respect. The last track, “gray light,” perfectly ties up the deeply sad and vulnerable energy of the album as a whole. Soccer Mommy again references her sick mother, this time expressing more of her feelings instead of summarizing the events at hand. “Gray light” is an anthem of feeling hopeless in the throes of family suffering.
“Color Theory“ is a sonic exploration of what it means to be sad and what it feels like to be vulnerable. There is melodic experimentation aplenty, perfectly mirroring the exploration of self that is put on display for us. The sadness is, at moments, unbearable in “Color Theory,” but incredibly important all the same.