Reviews

a compilation of reviews written by our staff!
Album cover art for The Shadow I Remember by Cloud Nothings

Album Review:

The Shadow I Remember

by Cloud Nothings

Album Review by Ash Zapata

The Shadow I Remember is the Cloud Nothings most recent album release. This album is a summation of emotions surrounding an existential crisis- self doubt, self worth, and self purpose. Lead singer Dylan Baldi’s lyrics are questioning, “Who am I to be?” The tracks repeat that question as if to manifest the answer into existence. Despite all that, the seemingly despairing lyrics are joined with joyful instrumentals- a start to a new beginning.

Album cover art for Life and Times by Jim Croce

Album Review:

Life and Times by Jim Croce

Album Review by Zain  Beverly

Life and Times is the second of the late Jim Croce’s three albums. It features his signature balance of jaunty barroom tunes and tender ballads that his three albums all featured. In all of his albums, Croce chronicles the stories of the “characters” he’s seen throughout his life. This time around, we hear the stories of a larger-than-life roller racer, a drug-fueled trucker, and the “baddest man in the whole dang town.”

 

Image for Raveena's music video for tweety

Music Video Review:

Tweety by Raveena

Album Review by Jordy Bowen

Peace, pastels, and soul are just a few of the factors that let us know that it’s Raveena’s world and we’re just living in it. Twenty-six-year-old singer Raveena constructs a dreamy world wrapped in warm tones and smooth sounds. Managing to respectfully nod to her influences while ultimately remaining true to herself and personal artistry, this singer is the surreal and celestial creative we never knew we needed.

Album cover art for Collapsed in Sunbeams by Arlo Park

Album Review:

Collapsed in Sunbeams

by Arlo Parks

Album Review by Ash Zapata

Arlo Parks (Anais Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho) is a young British artist who released her first album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. This indie album is an honest collection of stories and experiences wrapped up in whimsical harmonies and instrumentals. Despite its cheery nature, the lyrics say otherwise, making the paradox of feelings that Anais experiences more meaningful; and in a way relatable.  

Album cover art for Charleston, SC 1966 by Darius Rucker

Charleston, SC 1966

by Darius Rucker

Album Review by Zain Beverly

Charleston, SC 1966 is the third studio album of Darius Rucker’s solo career, and the second decidedly country album of his. It has some tracks that went over well on the radio due to their adherence to a tried and true formula laid out by artists before and Hootie’s voice itself.

album cover art for Tyron by slowthai

Tyron

by slowthai

Album Review by Ash Zapata

Tyron is an introspective album written by Slowthai; a British rapper from Northhampton. The album is split into two parts, the first consisting of all capital-lettered titles to emphasize frustration and surface level emotions. The second half of the track is all lower-case, to highlight the finer details and more complex emotions that come with being in the spotlight. This album is raw, unapologetic, and passionate.

Album cover art for Destiny by The Jacksons

Destiny

by The Jacksons

Album Review by Zain Beverly

Destiny is the thirteenth album released by the Jackson 5, or the third to be released by the Jacksons. They had to change their name after they left Motown records and went to Epic. This album influenced the dance club scene for years after its release with tracks like Blame it on the Boogie and Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground). If this doesn’t get you moving, I’m not sure what will.

Album cover art for drunk tank pink by shame

Drunk Tank Pink

by Shame

Album Review by Ash Zapata

Drunk Tank Pink was a color that was known to calm aggressive behavior, it was used to varnish the walls of therapy rooms, prisons, and psychiatric hospitals alike. Lead singer Charlie Steen of Shame sat in his pink room after his first tour and wrote his second album about finishing the tour- the loneliness, the fatigue, and how it was for the first time. This album offers a raw view of self, and who we are at the core.

Album cover art for Duke Ellington and John Coltrane's self titled album

Duke Ellington & John Coltrane

by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane

Album Review by Zain Beverly

Duke Ellington and John Coltrane is the rather straight-forwardly named 1963 album born from a completely instrumental recording session between the two titular artists and a few members from both of their bands. It’s a crossover between two giants of the American jazz scene and quite the treat. It features performances of compositions that, at the time, were both new and exciting, and classic hits. 

OK Human

by Weezer

Album Review by Ash Zapata

Weezer is an American Rock band that was popular in the early 2000s with various hits such as Island In The Sun, Say It Ain’t So, and Buddy Holly. Weezer’s newest album OK Human,(A reference to Radiohead’s OK Computer) features twelve tracks; all that explore the loneliness and seclusion that comes with the pandemic. The band decided to stray away from modern technology and recruited an orchestra of thirty-eight instruments to create this album. “It’s time to disconnect from the world, and connect to the album”-Weezer.

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

Self-titled Album

Album Review by Zain Beverly

Pull up a chair and pour yourself something strong because Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweat’s first album of the same name is a jaunty set at a modern day saloon. The band’s titular lead, Nathaniel Rateliff, delivers a hearty helping of vintage R&B, Americana and folk in this tracklist.

Album cover art for Free The Lo-Fis by Steve Lacy

The Lo-fis

by Steve Lacy

Album Review by Ash Zapata

Steve Lacy is a young Alternative R&B/Neo-soul/Psychedelic artist who has produced songs for numerous artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Denzel Curry, and his own band, The Internet. Lacy’s Album, The Lo-fis, is a collection of sound bites and leaks from when he was in highschool. It features an array of funky bass-lines and hypnotizing vocals.

 

Album cover art for Free Yourself Up by Lake Street Drive

“Free Yourself Up’”

by Lake Street Dive 

Album Review by Zain Beverly

Lake Street Dive is a soulful jazz/americana/pop/rock/R&B troupe and they’re exploring relationships from a mostly female perspective in their sixth studio album, Free Yourself Up. They’re a multi-genre band, and this album exhibits it with songs ranging from big and loud jazzy anthems, rolling R&B grooves, and slow and personal ballads that would fit in at a smoky, dim lounge.

The return of live music to the first coast

Article by Jennifer Ronzon

Live music has made a triumphant return to the first coast after many long, quiet months. Artists have made up for lost time, with choices of shows to attend each week. Despite the excitement surrounding the shows, one question has lingered — is it a safe choice?

“ELEMENTS vol. 1”
by TOBi

Album Review by Jordy Bowen

The composed and cool TOBi provides an energetic yet vulnerable performance with ELEMENTS VOL 1.   TOBi,  a Nigerian Canadian artist making music filled with unapologetic soul and flow, produces a vast soundscape with tranquil trap beats and a heavy merging of genres from jazz to grime. This album evokes a serenity that focuses on themes of family, perseverance, and growth. 

uncertain/t by Bandanna album cover art

“uncertain/ty’”

by bandanna

Album Review by Carissa Marques

You might have heard that Spinnaker Media is, “run by students for students.” That doesn’t just apply to our news department, but radio as well. Though UNF students are our target audience, we’re always happy to share the experiences and accomplishments of Florida locals, especially when it comes to new music. 

Remote by Wallows album cover art

“Remote”

by Wallows

Album Review by Grace Stoler

Wallows is an alternative/indie band composed of Dylan Minnette and Braedon Lemasters on vocals and guitar and Cole Preston on drums. Their brand new EP “Remote” was made available on all platforms on Oct. 23, 2020. Although Dylan Minnette has been Wallow’s main focus since the band formed in April 2017, shortly after his starring role in the Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why”, Remote manages to show off each member’s individuality and talent, while still maintaining their band’s soft pop / rock sound.

songs by Adrianne Lenker album cover art

“songs”
by Adrianne Lenker

Album Review by Carissa Marques

There’s something about a deep breath of mountain air that feels healing to one’s body and mind. Adrianne Lenker’s new album, “songs”, evokes that exact same feeling through music. The former Big Thief front woman released this solo piece on October 23, 2020 with an accompanying album “instrumentals” that’s a collection of her guitar playing and nature sounds. 

Moveys by Slow Pulp album cover art

“Moveys”

by Slow Pulp

Album Review by Carissa Marques

With all the chaos that has unfolded this year, music has acted as a soothing pastime  throughout the months. Chicago indie rock band, Slow Pulp, shares that calming sound in their recently released album.

The band is made up of four Wisconsin natives: singer and guitarist Emily Massey, bassist Alex Leeds, drummer Teddy Matthews, and guitarist Henry Stoehr.

“Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was” by Bright Eyes

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Indie-folk legends of the early 2000s, Bright Eyes, released their first album in almost a decade: Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, on August 21, 2020. Older millennials would recognize the lead singer, Conor Oberst, from not just Bright Eyes, but his punk band, Desaparecidos, as well. Younger people might be more familiar with his work with Phoebe Bridgers in Better Oblivion Community Center. This album evokes all kinds of nostalgia while also concentrating on heavy themes like loss, depression, and change.

“Chewing Cotton Wool”
by The Japanese House

Album Review by Carissa Marques

The Japanese House is an indie-pop band from England featuring musician and singer, Amber Mary Bain. They released a four-track EP called, “Chewing Cotton Wool” on August 13. Bain only has one full length album out, but their synth-pop sound can be heard in these latest tracks. If you’re a fan of The 1975, you’ll enjoy The Japanese House. In November of 2019, they actually played at a local venue, Jack Rabbits Live!

“Cody”
by Joyce Manor

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

Cody is the fourth studio album by punk band Joyce Manor, released in October of 2016. It’s a remarkable departure from their previous work — while past albums were more traditional to old-school punk music, Cody is sleeker, cleaner, and admittedly more reflective than its predecessors. Joyce Manor is still just as angsty as they were in 2011, but the angst is more mature and “adult” sounding than any of their past releases.

“What Could Possibly Go Wrong”
by Dominic Fike

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Dominic Fike, a Florida-native from Naples, released his first full length album, What Could Possibly Go Wrong, Friday, July 31, 2020. The long-awaited album has been in the works over the last three years. In the past, Fike has worked with artists such as Kevin Abstract, Yeek, Omar Apollo, and Kenny Beats. This album was produced by Julian Cruz and The Roommates. It reflects on themes of the realities of fame, the importance of family, and all the other experiences with drugs and love in between.

“boygenius”
by boygenius

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

Boygenius is an alternative super-group consisting of musicians Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker, and Phoebe Bridgers. Their self-titled debut EP was released on October 26th, 2018. Though each member was already well-established in their individual careers at the time of the EP’s release, their talent truly shines when they come together. Each member brings their own stylistic flair to the table in order to create a dynamic, beautiful piece of alternative-folk music.

“Folklore”
by Taylor Swift

Album Review by Carissa Marques

An icon of the last two decades, Taylor Swift, announced the release of her eighth album, folklore, just a day before it came out. The country-turned-pop singer surprised fans with a more alternative-folk sounding album on July 24, 2020. She worked with producer Aaron Dessner from “The National” to write these songs over the last few months of quarantine. Jack Antonoff from “Bleachers” also helped with the instrumentals and production.

“Clarity”
by Jimmy Eat World

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

Clarity is the third studio album released by Jimmy Eat World — an album that resulted in the band being dropped by their record label in 1999, but is now considered to be one of the greatest emo records of all time. Though most know the band from their 2001 release Bleed American, the true scope of their talent is most prevalent in Clarity. With introspective lyricism and dynamic instruments, this album is a genre-defining, must-listen for any fans of emo, pop-punk, or alternative music.

“Lianne La Havas”
by Lianne La Havas

Album Review by Carissa Marques

British soul-singer, Lianne La Havas, released her self-titled album on July 17, 2020. Unlike most self-titled albums, this is not La Havas’ first. This third full-length studio album discusses themes of growth and change, specifically in relationships, and the entire cycle in between. The reason it took La Havas half a decade to release new music is because she felt the need to experience growth as well. It’s a lovely mixture of R&B and soul with soothing melodies and vocals.

“Jump Rope Gazers”
by The Beths

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Jump Rope Gazers is the second full length album by New Zealand indie-rock band, The Beths. It was released on Friday, July 10, 2020. The band consists of lead singer and guitarist, Elizabeth Stokes, Tristan Deck on the drums, Jonathan Pearce as a second guitarist, and bassist Benjamin Sinclair. This album will have you feeling like you’re in a turn-of-the-millennium teen or young adult movie (think 10 Things I Hate About You or even Hillary Duff’s A Cinderella Story). The album’s themes touch on love, communication, and the uncertainty of the current state of the world.

“Tim”
by The Replacements

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

For a band who were notorious for destructive live shows and wholehearted rejection toward achieving mainstream fame, creating an album that shaped the legacy and direction of alternative music is a pretty big feat. Released in the era when alternative music was primarily driven by post-punk bands, The Replacements defied all standards of what alternative music “should” be. They didn’t want to become the next Smiths or Cure — rather, they took inspiration from acts like Bob Dylan, Big Star, Tom Petty, and The Clash, and transformed these influences into their own brand of humbled (yet chaotic) alternative punk, as seen in 1985 release Tim.

“Modern Dread”
by Denai Moore

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Denai Moore’s third full length album, Modern Dread, was released Friday, July 3, 2020. The British-Jamaican singer has been making music since 2013 that’s quintessentially indie -in the sense that it does not seem to conform to a particular genre. Her inspirations range from Lauryn Hill to Bon Iver, and this intricate twist of sounds can be heard in her music. This album explores themes of introspection, breakups, and how one fits in with the rest of the world as the future seems to be “dreadful.” If you were a fan of the Moses Sumney album Spinnaker reviewed a couple weeks ago, you’ll enjoy Denai Moore. 

“Coastal Grooves”
by Blood Orange

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 2011 album “Coastal Grooves” by Blood Orange. Known for his other solo project, Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange is the funk/RNB solo project of musician Dev Hynes. Similar to his inspiration, Prince, Hynes explores themes of gender fluidity throughout his imagery and music, while not directly labeling himself as anything. 

“Roy Ayers JID002”
by Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed, Roy Ayers

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Roy Ayers JID002, JID being the acronym for “jazz is dead,” is the collaborative album released by jazz artists Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Roy Ayers on June 19, 2020. The release date was specifically chosen for Juneteenth to honor and celebrate Black musicians’ role in the history of jazz. Roy Ayers has been composing jazz, funk, and soul music since the 1970s. According to a bio on Bandcamp, “he was said to have more sampled hits by rappers than any other artist.” His work can be heard in Tyler the Creator’s song, “Pothole.”  Both Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad are younger composers in the jazz and soul world.

“Arizona Baby”
by Kevin Abstract

Album Review by Sydney Chatani

In light of current events, and June being Pride Month, the staff at Spinnaker has decided to use our platform as an opportunity to highlight black and LGBTQ+ artists. This week, our selected review is of the 2019 album “ARIZONA BABY” by Kevin Abstract. Known primarily from his work with rap collective BROCKHAMPTON, “ARIZONA BABY” is Abstract’s third solo studio album. After coming out as gay in 2016, Abstract has never shied away from discussing his sexuality in his music — notable, given that until recently, the rap and hip-hop world has never been particularly inclusive and accepting of LGBTQ+ artists.

“Punisher”
by Phoebe Bridgers

Album Review by Carissa Marques

Punisher is Phoebe Bridgers’ second independent full-length project released on June 18, 2020. The indie-folk-rock singer is a member of boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center -Both of which make an appearance in this album. The album explores themes of depression, relationships, and dreams, and how they all seem to intertwine throughout life. Fortunately, Bridgers has been very open with the production of this album, so there are concrete answers for what each of the songs mean. The album is softer in sound, much like Bridgers’ previous work, this time with more orchestral sounds sprinkled throughout the tracks.