Sophia - `People are Like Seasons' - Album review

Sophia

Music - Sean Paul - SINGLE: 'I'm Still In Love With You', featuring Sasha RELEASE DATE: January 5th, 2004 Music - Sean Paul - SINGLE: 'I'm Still In Love With You', featuring Sasha RELEASE DATE: January 5th, 2004

Sophia's People are Like Seasons' - Album review

Sophia, otherwise known as Robin Proper-Sheppard, have been described as Mogwai performing the music of Coldplay' by others. I can see where the comparison comes from to some extent, People are Like Seasons' is quite a melancholy record but there are strains of hope and joy mixed into its fabric. Proper-Sheppard's voice is strange sometimes strong, sometimes barely there but always dry and full of experience. People are like Seasons' is not a record you want to be listening to if you're feeling over emotional or vulnerable as it will strip your defences down to despair if you're not careful.

The first stand out track is Desert Song no. 2' which is totally gorgeous. An 8 minute epic that starts of so simply with just

Music - Sophia's People are Like Seasons' - Album review

strings that falls away to leave just vocals and guitar but it doesn't stop there. It builds and builds to a peak that drops suddenly to just a piano refrain which rises again to a triumphant finale. Darkness (Another Shade in your Black)' is a complete change of direction with its metallic and robotic feel. Dark is not an adequate description for this slice of gothic, industrial electronica made weirder by its distorted vocals. If a Change is Gonna Come' follows suit but in a more 60's garage rock style, that's really seedy and sinister.

However, it's the more heartfelt, melancholic songs that really work like I Left You', which is another epic that rises and falls and would crumble even a heart of stone. It starts like Desert Song no. 2' with just a simple refrain but this is more of a song than a symphony unlike Desert Songs no. 2'. It could be described as alt. country but I don't think that description does it justice. It's better than that.

It's not all wonderful though; the album is in fact patchy. The first three tracks are average and pretty unmemorable. There area few nice Beach Boys melodies like in Holidays are Nice' which also has a bittersweet undertones, however, it is somewhat lightweight and throwaway. Some tracks are reminiscent of bands such as Granddaddy but these are the more unconvincing ones. There are some great tracks on here but it might have been better as an EP.

(City Slang)

Natasha Perry



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