Album Review: Soho Rezanejad – Six Archetypes

Six Archetypes immerses itself into the Jungian fabric of universal consciousness and remains there, cocooned and fully exposed simultaneously. With intelligence and a breadth of musical and philosophical knowledge, solo artist Soho Rezanejad weaves an oxymoronic concept of collective inner-character and a comment on the individual’s most inescapable traits.

Throughout the LP listeners are ushered between the mental faculties of the six archetypes of humans: The Guardian, The Orphan, The Seeker, The Russian, The Idealist and The Prostitute, and are left clutching at the spaces in-between. The aforementioned characters of the collective unconscious are said by Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung to be the instigators of our distinct realities, a concept that Rezanejad illuminates in various ways.

Rezanejad created the lyrics, for example, collaboratively: she presented inaudible lyrics to friends, before inquiring their perceptions of the words, and then translating their interpretations into intelligible lyrics. The lyrical content of each track is fashioned on how its initial listeners wanted it to appear, thus weaving an intricate reflection of the shared mind. Soho emphasises the almost chilling lyrics ‘I wear your clothes’ in opening piece “Pilot: The Guardian”, a figurative phrase illuminating that we (Rezanejad, the initial contributing listeners and all present future listeners) are one because our minds have been united.

Flowing effortlessly from one specific emotion to the next, the lyrical content of the LP is permeable; from the melancholic, Eleanor Rigby-esque words ‘Often, he’s a boy, working alone…almost lost…’ to the nihilistic ‘ain’t it all the same, I’m here and someday I’ll be gone and that’s life’, each song conveys the dark elements of human thinking that unify us all. Rezanejad’s depiction of the collective mind and its conflict within the divisive shell of human etiquette imprisoning it is thought provoking, and begs listeners to participate in its loathing of socially enforced division.

Rezanejad’s influences stem from places that few listeners will have been acquainted with:  Bulgarian folk music, various poets and Armenian/Soviet arthouse film. What she has produced, as a result, feels unfamiliar, rather invasive and somewhat estranged. Built on an atmospheric layering of synth tones and the occasional supplement of a drum loop or reverb-heavy guitar – an effect largely found in “Greed Wears a Disarming Face” – the album is as rich in form as it is content.

Influences of Soviet arthouse film are discernible in every choral breath of the album; its sharply twisting melodies unravelling like a soundtrack to an impending tragedy. With vocals reaching skywards and then suddenly plummeting into a piercing bellow,  Rezanejad has created a richly elaborate sequence, both musically and conceptually.

Whilst the LP would benefit from examining its theoretical inspiration in more depth – by exploring the contradicting nature of the collective unconscious with instrumental variation, perhaps – listeners will fail to doubt the album’s astute and absorbing psychological commentary.

Jake Mitchell

 

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