Album: Sophia

People Are Like Seasons, City Slang
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The Independent Culture

Robin Proper-Sheppard, one-time member of the unlovely indie-metal outfit The God Machine, has already delivered two albums in his current guise of Sophia, with mixed results. People Are Like Seasons, though, is different: this sounds like the work of a band that is finally ready to step on to a bigger stage, that has managed to harness its epic, widescreen sound to memorable songs that stick stubbornly at the front of one's consciousness. Sophia's speciality is the kind of anthemic melancholy that has reaped vast rewards for Radiohead and Coldplay, whose dynamics Proper-Sheppard emulates both in the sinister guitar figures and simple yearning of the single "Oh My Love", and in the pathos of "Swept Back", a wistful song of regret at a couple's inability to escape a relationship that's run its course: "Tired of swimming upstream/ You thought you'd just rest a while/ But you were still swept back to me". "Desert Song #2" and "Fool" are big, fulsome piano ballads of consolation, placing warm, comf

Robin Proper-Sheppard, one-time member of the unlovely indie-metal outfit The God Machine, has already delivered two albums in his current guise of Sophia, with mixed results. People Are Like Seasons, though, is different: this sounds like the work of a band that is finally ready to step on to a bigger stage, that has managed to harness its epic, widescreen sound to memorable songs that stick stubbornly at the front of one's consciousness. Sophia's speciality is the kind of anthemic melancholy that has reaped vast rewards for Radiohead and Coldplay, whose dynamics Proper-Sheppard emulates both in the sinister guitar figures and simple yearning of the single "Oh My Love", and in the pathos of "Swept Back", a wistful song of regret at a couple's inability to escape a relationship that's run its course: "Tired of swimming upstream/ You thought you'd just rest a while/ But you were still swept back to me". "Desert Song #2" and "Fool" are big, fulsome piano ballads of consolation, placing warm, comforting arms around the shoulders of heartbroken souls, while riskier attitudes underscore the world-weary cynicism of "If a Change is Gonna Come" and the transgressive perversity of "Darkness (Another Shade in Your Black)", a lumbering Goth-metal bulldozer about the attraction of (the idea of) death. Recommended, none the less.

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