Thursday, May 12th, 2022

Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Semi Final 2

And so the fun continues! We’ll be covering the second Semi Final of Eurovision 2022 today over on our Discord server. Link here.

Join us at the following times depending on where you are.

9pm CEST / 8pm London / 3pm New York / 12pm Los Angeles / 5am+1 Sydney

See you soon!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

Sigrid, Bring Me the Horizon – Bad Life

Sigrid and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.


[Video]
[3.67]

Edward Okulicz: I’m a casual fan of both Sigrid and BMtH, in that I generally like most of their singles without having ever bothered to investigate their deep cuts. But I don’t like this one — boy/girl duets over thick guitars are super-satisfying, and I appreciate the positivity of the message, so it’s not that the ingredients themselves are bad, and you definitely need sugar to make a cake, so it’s not too corny for it’s own good. It’s the execution that’s off here, sung with almost no passion as if it was in fact about making a cake. It could be a bored early 00s alt-rock thing, and that wasn’t a high point of the genre or the time period, and definitely not in 2022.
[5]

Micha Cavaseno: In the last year, I learned all too late that Bring Me the Horizon (a band I was too young for) went from middling Hot Topic deathcore posterboys to the Linkin Park that Linkin Park abandoned the chance to be b/c ‘Rick Rubin’ or whatever. That was aided and abetted by Oli Sykes producing “Experiment On Me” for Halsey, warning me of her later album and basically giving me the foxcore version of Hanin Elias-fronted Atari Teenage Riot. Now, being 2nd wave Mike Shinoda, that inevitably means he was going to have his Fort Minor period, and of course it would be the American Apparel Skylar Grey of Sigrid wimping him up for a payday. It’s also funny enough to know that after the fake-indie leanings of her early outings, Sigrid’s now out here making “Fight Song” type Top 40 for diaries and self-help anthems. Turns out two musicians I initially wrote off for a long time I was wrong about: Oli Sykes is a very creative and ambitious sort when he wants to be. And Sigrid was worse than I ever could’ve imagined.
[3]

Will Adams: For the first half I was worried Sigrid and Oli Sykes had both fully succumbed to P!nk-style inspiro-stomp. But then the arrangement filled out on the second chorus, and the message felt more urgent. It’s still not enough to save this wasted collaboration from being terminally maudlin. At least Daniel Powter’s pick-me-ups sounded cheery.
[4]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I have no doubt that the sentiment behind “Bad Life” is genuine, but the heavy-handed execution inspires Julia Michaels levels of cringe. This is equally baffling from a vocal-perspective, with Sigrid going fully High School Musical-core. Someone please give Oliver Sykes a cup of tea. 
[2]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Doesn’t even have the trainwreck-fascination quality that a collaboration of this kind should have — instead, it’s a song that exists in no particular niche whatsoever, neither a self-serious bit of pop metal or a fun pop exercise. There must be something more interesting that this pair could’ve come up with, right?
[3]

Lauren Gilbert: Is it only slightly more sophisticated than “do you ever feel like a plastic bag”? Yes. Is it somehow both a Female Empowerment Anthem and also dad rock? Also yes. Did I listen to it while driving to Kohl’s on a too long day? Also yes.
[6]

Nortey Dowuona: The best part of this song is Sigrid and the rest of the band who didn’t abuse their ex-wife.
[6]

Alfred Soto: “I’m my own worst enemy,” Mr. Horizon wails, bathroom mirror encrusted with snot and mung. 
[2]

Tobi Tella: Lord, the pop-punk revival forces Machine Gun Kelly back into our lives and now this?! I will personally deliver Lexapro to families across the nation if it means we can get rid of songs like this.
[2]

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Bree Runway – Somebody Like You

We’ve been runwaying around, always looking down at what we see…


[Video][Website]
[6.44]

Leah Isobel: As delightful as it’s been, Bree’s major-label work has generally felt a little slack. “Somebody Like You” does not suffer from this problem. A grand, cavernous devotional with hooks slung over every passage, it pulls itself tighter and tighter over the course of its four minutes; when Bree finally sings that she would die for somebody like you, the stakes feel so high that you get the sense she actually might.
[9]

Nortey Dowuona: The gossamer synths that seem worrisomely similar to “In The Air Tonight” are so quickly harnessed by Bree’s plaintive yet powerful voice, seemingly empowered by the rumbling bass and slapdash drums, that the similarity doesn’t sink it. In fact, the song seems to lean into it, as Bree soars off into a carrying coo that slides above the BUMBADUMDUMDUMDUM and takes flight, all combining into a blinding light over clashing sonic pieces. Yet she stays noticeable and visible even as the drums hammer, doubled with vocoder as they fade into the synths. She’s still too strong to be mashed down.
[8]

Edward Okulicz: Eee, I feel so conflicted about this, because for about 2 and a half minutes, this shapes up as a modern take on an overblown ’80s power ballad, and does it very well. Pulling off the trick of being massive and cavernous but also slinky and enticing, there’s very little to not love. And then for the last minute when the gear shift is supposed to go up to ridiculous, it goes down and quietly rants itself to sleep and sounds terrible doing so. That is a such a horrible, horrible shame and waste.
[6]

Alfred Soto: An estimable talent turns to the sort of neither-here-nor-there gesture she hopes will bring in the streams. I don’t want to hear Bree Runway coo sweetly, nor am I taken in by her brag mode. Maybe she needs the right producer + beats combo. 
[4]

Micha Cavaseno: Life was kind of semi-cruel to me in that as I learned to explore my femininity, I learned how difficult it is to find that same energy in rap. The closest I’ve had in a while is the spoilt glee of your Flo Milli’s and your Bali Baby’s. But for the most part, what other women seem to love is truthfully more masculine energies: bombast, smug certainty, martyr complexes. And that’s the weird thing I keep bumping into whenever someone tells me the various Cardi & Megan or even Rico-type rappers are meant for me. Yet there’s none of the hysteria or surging peaks that embody my delestrogen flooded mess of a life. Bree Runway is similar in that I don’t hear the glee of the excess, I’m just served a whole lot of c*nt in flat disinterest and expectancy. Watching her turn away to generic stadium pop ballading about vague romance that in reality is just about her own expectations is… tiring. This could easily be a Drake or Kanye song that I know half of this site alone would happily lampoon if it was just some man. Maybe I’m myself too entitled to want more, but I want the range of personalities, I want the extremity. I need to be allowed moods, not acknowledge that something is the “mood.” As I find myself, more and more the boys are disappearing in nonsensical keening and the ladies are hardened warriors who feel divorced from their emotions in rap. Damn, I was hoping I’d feel seen as women in rap and my own womanhood were finally allowed to exist. Now I just feel more lost and more useless.
[0]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: So much contemporary R&B has fallen into a chill abyss, making dreadfully boring quiet storm derivations or hookless vibe records. In the context of its field,”Somebody Like You” is shockingly maximalist, like if Jim Steinman listened to SZA. It’s a showcase for Runway’s vocal talent, mixed to perfection to make her sound like the center of the universe. Around her drums thunder and synths blast but she still sounds greater than them all.
[8]

Danilo Bortoli: Doing my homework, I found out Easyfun, the PC Music-affiliate responsible for one of last decade’s best songs, is behind this. It goes only to show how maximalism has steadily ingrained itself into this prime, gorgeous example of a new iteration of quiet storm. 
[8]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Draped in hook after gorgeous hook, “Somebody Like You” sees Bree Runway trading in her trademark feisty ferocity for a vulnerable, moonlit drama. It’s a good look. 
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: A surprising left turn from Runway, serving ultra Robyn-ness on a slow burner of a midtempo pop record. And by “slow burner” I mean it smolders, perfectly. 
[8]

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Semi Final 1

Hello! Is it Eurovision already? Why yes, yes it is.

Like last year, we are going to do our Eurovision coverage over on Discord. Feel free to join us in the fun at the following server link: https://discord.gg/MwYJdyAx

Event starts at 9pm CEST today. That’s 8pm London / 3pm New York / 12pm Los Angeles / 5am+1 Sydney

We’ll also be around for the Semi Final 2 on Thursday 12 May and the Grand Final on Saturday 14 May, same times as above.

See you there!

Monday, May 9th, 2022

Jack Harlow – First Class

Judging by the score, he’s flying premium economy, tops.


[Video][Website]
[4.78]

Al Varela: Jack Harlow will never top his verse on “INDUSTRY BABY” for me, but he can always get close by leaning into what makes that verse so good; effortlessness. Jack Harlow makes it look easy, and his quick cool flows are what make him stand out among the other white rappers trying too hard to impress an audience that will inevitably reject them. “First Class” understands this, giving Harlow the space to cruise through the floating piano chords and breathy Fergie sample to make a song all about the luxury he surrounds himself with. It’s a pretty basic song at its core, I expect my peers to make immediate, if accurate comparisons to Drake, but it’s one that’s so easy to like and chill to that it doesn’t really matter. The composition is pretty, the chorus is catchy but not intrusive, it’s a great song to kick off the upcoming summer.
[8]

Joshua Lu: It’s nice enough nostalgia bait that’s sure to shoot endorphins into many millennial brains, but aside from the Fergie interpolation, you just have a mediocre white guy trying to pass off his success as aspirational. Him riffing off of the letters in “glamorous” is cute enough, and it would have been even better if he didn’t clearly run out of ideas less than halfway through the word.
[3]

Edward Okulicz: Sometimes to dissect a number one song you don’t get is an exercise that might be best done 15 years from now, probably when someone makes another massive hit from it, the way this made one from “Glamorous.” But what I hear now is a great backing track with nothing more than perfunctory rapping on it. In uniting the TikTok kids and those who would have been TikTok kids in the era of Fergie, it’s an unstoppable force until you actually listen to it.
[4]

Micha Cavaseno: One of the cool/bad things about rap is that you get to hear someone else’s voice come out of someone else’s mouth. Let me be clear: I LOVE ghostwriting and biting and shit like that actually. Not if it means someone else doesn’t get recognition or proper compensation, more like the idea of hearing someone else indulge themselves by living out their creativity through someone else as a vehicle to express themselves better. At it’s best it can result in some of the most liberating explorations ever like that time Pharaoh Monche made Puffy talk like he was a Cyberpunk Despot. But at worst, it’s something like Jack Harlow lazily gentrifying Babyface Ray. So I hope, nay, I praaaaay that Ray wrote this in secret and got a nice healthy check off this. Or Harlow pays him for at least three features on the next album. 
[2]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I swear to god this guy was better at rapping the last time I checked — but here he barely does anything at all, doing shiny suit era sample hackery and sleepwalking through a set of boasts that alternate from very boring to very gross. He sounds drowned out by the riches around him, a victim of his own success and a rap market desperate for a crossover star. If he’s the one, “First Class” does not compellingly explain why.
[3]

Thomas Inskeep: Starting off by sampling the one good Fergie single is a good move. (I miss Polow da Don!) Slowing it down like this is even better. And Harlow, of whom I’m instinctively skeptical because, well, he’s a white American rapper, acquits himself well here, helped out by the subtle production. This is absurdly catchy and, dare I say, smart. Actually, more than that, “First Class” is surprisingly great.
[8]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: I don’t want to wade into the Jack Harlow discourse, all I want to do is bask in the glory of that Fergie sample and how it makes me think of simpler times. 
[7]

Nortey Dowuona: That goofy ass smile…he really thinks he did something on this.
[4]

Alfred Soto: Rappers and singers have specialized in mumbled noncommittal twaddle for decades, and “First Class” isn’t much worse or much better. He gets by with a lot of help from a sample, which helps him (barely) universalize the twaddle.
[4]

Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Lizzo – About Damn Time

Your editor was about to say “but, your last single was only three months ago” before realising it was actually nine months ago. Since time is an illusion, let’s disco…


[Video]
[7.25]

Nortey Dowuona: About damn time Lizzo made a great single. It’s about a gosh-darned damned time.
[9]

Al Varela: It only makes sense that Lizzo would be the next pop star to jump onto the disco revival. I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier, actually. Lizzo’s force of personality and “yas queen”-type flamboyance is a perfect fit for this brand of feel-good disco-pop. It’s almost too easy, which is probably why it took me a minute to truly love this song. It’s the kind of effortless that almost feels safe. Lizzo gets to make her quirky punchlines and catchphrases over very agreeable production, it’s catchy and inoffensive, and there’s little here to complain about. I guess I wish this song took a few more chances, really go above and beyond like what Dua Lipa and The Weeknd do with their disco jams. Eventually, it clicked for me as I noticed how riddled with insecurity the song truly is. Lizzo has always been a beacon of positivity and self-confidence but this song is also messy and emotional. Unafraid to shy away from the fact that Lizzo has been really sad, and the backlash she’s gotten from fatphobic racists and misogynists really does get to her. But the point of the song is that she’s learning to accept that things are going to be okay. She’s gonna go for a night out in the club, and she’s going to embrace the happiness she truly deserves. I think these past few years makes that message especially resonant. At least for me.
[8]

Tobi Tella: She’s not beating the “Old Navy commercial music” allegations, but at least it’s fun C-tier funk?
[6]

Edward Okulicz: If “Rumors” felt like Lizzo self-consciously leaning into her schtick, this is her at ease with what she does best. The flute is cute, the bass is from a good source if not an untapped one, and Lizzo makes her self-empowerment infectious. Very few people could get away with her striptease-while-winking delivery even if they had a chorus this catchy or such a way with a line that even the ones aren’t quotable are cheeky just on charisma. This is a welcome addition to the list of great wedding party bangers — it’s not as good as “Juice” but I will happily take B+ versions of that for a good few years yet. 
[8]

Rose Stuart: “About Damn Time” is a perfectly fine pop song. Not particularly ground breaking, but also not something that wears out its welcome. The type of song that will have one moment in time where it is your favourite song ever, but otherwise is left to the middle tier. It does, however, have the best flute riff in a disco track since “The Hustle,” and if I judged it on that alone then it would get a solid 10/10.
[6]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Certainly more faithful to the source material compared to most contemporary disco pastiche but to what end? More inspirational pop that I’ll regard pleasantly in retail environments for the next 3 years.
[6]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: The best part of every Lizzo song is Lizzo herself. The production, hook, and overall conceit of “About Damn Time” are retreaded territory for the pop star, but she manages to inject enough vim and enthusiasm into them in order to sell them properly. 
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: Hot disco-y goodness, almost as good as “Juice,” and exactly what I want from Lizzo. [insert obvious title-based pun]
[8]

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Luke Combs – Doin’ This

If we weren’t blurbing this? We’d probably just be blurbing something else…


[Video][Website]
[4.67]

Tim de Reuse: Well, as awkward as the phrase “doin’ this” is, it’s the most likeable sentiment Combs has ever managed; there is something magic about a tiny show in a forgettable town, and the specificity of his fantasy is convincing. He’s let down by the extravagant production, which is predictable for Combs but particularly jarring when he’s singing about barely scraping by — and what the hell is that corporate piano doing there? Did the seedy bar have a Steinway in the back?
[4]

Thomas Inskeep: I’m not sure that “full-blown Adele” is the right direction for Luke Combs.
[3]

John S. Quinn-Puerta: I genuinely can’t believe Combs expected me to enjoy four minutes of this. For a song about a commitment to live performance, it drags slower than the molasses used to make that brown liquor he’s so fond of. Everything sounds fine, but I’m just missing any semblance of energy.
[2]

Alfred Soto: Self-mythology becomes this bathetic tub o’ guts. I even got to thinking if anyone can cover “Wanted Dead or Alive” it’s Luke Goddamn Combs. 
[6]

Scott Mildenhall: Hilariously, mystifyingly po-faced. The revelation that someone who likes music would still be making it if they weren’t famous is not one worthy of such a dramatic reading. However it might seem in the warped world of performative humility that is country, this all smacks of a belief in “bootstraps” politics and myths of meritocracy. Maybe if he wasn’t doing this, he might have a broader imagination.
[4]

Al Varela: It’s easy to roll your eyes at an artist who claims they don’t care about the fame and fortune, but Luke Combs is one of the only celebrities I actually believe it from. If nothing else, “Doin’ This” shows that Combs has a passion for making music unlike anyone else. The success he’s gained was never the end goal, but he’s eternally grateful for the fans who stuck around and believed in him. Even if he never reached this level, he’d still be playing small shows and bar-room floors because music completes him in a way nothing else can. His tremendous voice soaring across the roaring steel and electric guitar is inspiring, and makes what could be a pretty standard Luke Combs song stand out as one of his best singles to date.
[9]

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

Tate McRae – She’s All I Wanna Be

Last set of blurbs before the debut drops…


[Video][Website]
[4.50]

Joshua Lu: Tate McRae moving on from her mopey pop radio ballad bait and releasing something legitimately tolerable is a nice surprise in 2022. Her verse on “You” proved that her voice and presence could be a positive if it had the right backdrop, and “All I Wanna Be” cements the fact. There’s nothing groundbreaking here — the pop punk energy could be bolstered, and the lyrics are nothing that you can’t predict just by seeing the title — but any improvement is welcome from this emerging pop girl.
[5]

William John: It motors along enough to induce your head into very subtle side to side movements, but “She’s All I Wanna Be” needs to lean further into the angst; the absence of bite makes it look like an Olivia Rodrigo single printed out while the toner’s running low.
[5]

Jonathan Bradley: Tate McRae’s voice covers the track like cling film: something to be wrapped around any music-shaped object while still not interacting with it in the slightest. In this case, the object is a compression-smudged hum made of guitars that don’t crunch that are produced like synths that don’t sparkle. It could be a polka for all that would affect McRae’s performance; I’m not convinced she at any point heard the rest of her own song.
[4]

Leah Isobel: The songwriting angle echoes “Jolene,” but with its queerness replaced by economic and gender anxiety, the result lands closer to “Who’s That Girl.” McRae doesn’t have Robyn’s grounded empathy, though. Her candyfloss voice drapes over and then disappears into the guitar attack, either self-actualizing or self-abnegating, depending on your state of mind. Grappling with confused, conflicting emotions through controlled performance, she gives theatre kid in the non-pejorative sense; I can dig it.
[7]

Alfred Soto: Harder, better, faster, stronger — “She’s All I Wanna Be” could be all those things and still sound meh. Tate McRae vocalizes as if through a bowl of clam chowder. 
[4]

Ian Mathers: Fifteen seconds in I could not stop myself from saying out loud “god I hate this vocal style” and my wife said with some intensity “I’m so fucking sick of it.” Nothing else about the song, lyrics, or performance overcomes that particular obstacle.
[3]

Thomas Inskeep: I just can’t with the heavy-duty vocal fry on display here; it sounds like McRae’s voice (such as it is) is stuck halfway down her throat. The song, a super-average pop-punk number, emphasis on the pop, does her no favors, either. This’ll probably be huge.
[2]

Al Varela: I’m worried about Tate McRae. I don’t want to believe she’s just a pawn for a label trying to recapture the magic of viral pop girls like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo, but the songs she’s been putting out haven’t done a great job dispelling that presumption. “She’s all i wanna be” especially falls into this concern, as it came out a little too soon after “Good 4 U” took over the summer. And yet, I’m still kind of conflicted by this song. I know what it’s doing with this pop-rock instrumentation and bratty high school jealousy in the lyrics. Against all odds though, this song is kind of great? Fantastic, maybe! The production, as derivative as it is, is a blast to listen to, and there’s a tightness to the vocal melody that makes this especially sticky to the brain. Despite my praises for this though, I don’t think I quite love it or even like it all that much. It goes back to what I said at the beginning: It feels like Tate McRae is being used as a pawn to try and manufacture the next “viral star,” and as good as “She’s All I Wanna Be” sounds, Tate McRae doesn’t have the voice for it. There’s no real firepower in her voice, she’s not convincingly angry, and her tone is too mellow and neatly mixed to sell the messiness of the drama. Thus, an otherwise solid song is bogged down by a performer for reasons that aren’t her fault. It’s simply a mismatch. 
[6]

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Go_A – Kalyna

“A power that brings immortality and can unite generations to fight evil”


[Video][Website]
[7.86]

Leah Isobel: “Kalyna” feels both animated and undone by its own futility in the face of war; its instrumental builds threaten a catharsis that never quite comes, despite the song’s chugging, foreboding momentum. How do I even score this?
[7]

Jessica Doyle: The song explicitly rejects pity (if asked, Go_A would probably prefer ammunition to a ride, too) so let’s not give it any, and instead evaluate it from the perspective of a hypothetical 2030 independent Ukraine in the midst of a messy, suboptimal, peaceful rebuild. (Fingers crossed.) “Kalyna” will still have life then, especially in the remixes; it likely works best when stretched out and treated more meditatively, with Kateryna Pavlenko’s voice able to rouse the clubgoers from their trances, instead of coming on with insufficient buildup. It’s not Go_A’s Guernica, but that’s too much to ask of any one song — it’s more a song of resolve than of terror, which will give it a longer afterlife, and makes me feel a little more hopeful for that afterlife.
[7]

Alfred Soto: Hip to its thumping confidence if not thumping arrogance, I blasted “Kalyna” twice without knowing a jot about their origins — and that still doesn’t matter insofar as the beats and multitracked voices bespeak universal applicability, i.e. dancing. 
[8]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Ambrosial, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-raising, arena-stadium-rock; flute-powered Ukrainian alchemy, only further heightened by the nightmarish zeitgeist.
[9]

Will Adams: Foolish of me to doubt even for a second if the Go_A formula would work without someone mashing on the accelerator. Of course it does! This strain of aggressive, pulsing trance-rock — evoked by PVRIS, early MUNA and Haloo Helsinki, among others — is practically hardwired into my brain as an endorphin-producer, and Kateryna Pavlenko’s steely vocal in the face of Ukraine’s current plight makes “Kalyna” all the more compelling.
[8]

Scott Mildenhall: The legendary intensity of “SHUM” comes into even sharper relief. Vital, urgent and exhortative, “Kalyna” is as compelling as intended.
[8]

Ian Mathers: God, I wish my primary association with this band was still Eurovision. I don’t think the speed-up-and-stop thing with “SHUM” was a gimmick or anything, so I’m unsurprised that even beyond any other considerations this just works really well as a song — the goth techno music of my early years but more genuinely folk-inflected, I guess. Plus now I know that the fruit of the viburnum opulus shrub, called kalyna in Ukranian and kalina in Russian, is an important cultural symbol in both countries. And if, even after you look up the translation, it sounds a bit like a curse being either lamented or laid, well…
[8]

Friday, April 29th, 2022

Soccer Mommy – Shotgun

In which we spot the deliberate mistake…


[Video][Website]
[6.83]

John S. Quinn-Puerta: The song is fine, even if the bass sounds like it’s coming from a paper cup, but I didn’t go to six summers of scout camp to not point out that shotguns don’t fire bullets. Perhaps next time we could shoot for a more accurate metaphor?
[6]

Vikram Joseph: Breezy and angular, “Shotgun” meshes gently clattering bass-driven verses with a swooning chorus in a way that’s far more reminiscent of early single “Cool” than the lush, melancholy compositions and golden-hour depressive aesthetics of Color Theory. As much of a near-perfect mood piece as that album was, it’s nice to see this side of Soccer Mommy again — there’s always sadness and a fierce intensity lurking at the corners of her work, but her urgency and playfulness can be such effective counterpoints. Daniel Lopatin’s production is busy, but there’s a lot to like — the woozy synth that floats down like pollen in the post-chorus, and the slightly off-kilter drum fills in the chorus — and Sophie Allison sounds revitalised, emerging from a dark tunnel into the fresh, bracing air of an imperfect world.
[8]

Leah Isobel: “Shotgun” has a grimy sheen, like oil over pavement. That texture, appealing but disgusting, lifts the song when its repetitive structure threatens to wear. I guess more detail might break the illusion; in a song about fooling yourself, you only need the things that contribute to the fantasy.
[7]

Alfred Soto: Barely discernible beneath the rumble of drums and bass, Soccer Mommy sings the expected pleas sheathed in the usual metaphors with professional unprofessionalism. I need more gusto. An attractively unattractive record.
[6]

Oliver Maier: The OPN teamup might imply an exciting pivot in Soccah Mommy’s sound but that doesn’t really play out in practice. I’m sure someone with more technical knowledge could pinpoint his touch here, but to my ears this is pretty standard for her, maybe a tad more vibrant. Still, “pretty standard Soccer Mommy” is a winning formula, at least for me.
[7]

Andrew Karpan: Sophie Allison’s records have a knack of transcending their singer-songwriter-indie-label milieu, finding ways to explore rejection that are as moving as they are relatable; the kind of teen angst that percolates deep into adult life, pulling imagery off the shelf of sunbeat suburbia, grass dry and uncut. When I first heard her, she took the form of the corner’s misbegotten canine, tied up and barking. Now, she’s the bullet inside the barrel of a figurative gun, waiting for a cause to crack into the night air. (Not for nothing does a half-concerned Condé Nast blogger call this dispatch a “cry for help.”) But the reference point I’m reading here is not quite Cobain, but rather contemporaneous work from Liz Phair and those early tapes that also found ways to assemble loneliness out of such everyday parts. 
[7]