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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Our thoughts on this summer’s music




The album was released three days after the movie came out. The runtime for the project is approximately 47 minutes, with 13 songs and 21 artists on the album. Each song has a snippet or line from the movie that helps set the mood for the song or the next track. The first track features rap sensations Offset and Lil Wayne, as well as the return of Swae Lee- as he was present on the preceding movie’s album. Each song relates to an aspect of the movie, even in its musicality. The songs on the album pull from the soundtrack – “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Original Score)” by Daniel Pemberton. They take excerpts from each character’s theme and incorporate them into the song. Overall, the album had a good acceptance after the hit summer movie was released. 


ALBUM: “Austin” by Post Malone

Post Malone has released a 17-track, 51-minute album titled “Austin”, after his own name, Austin Richard Post. Releasing two 40-plus minute albums just over a year between them is impressive in and of itself. The album preceding this had a 43-minute run time. Austin has one bonus track on the re-released version of the project. The album speaks about drugs and the reluctance to let go of relationships and the inability to get clean. Malone recently said in an interview that he got clean because of his new child, and this album could be a musical representation of that fact. The album is very outside of what Post Malone is known for. Lyrically it’s very similar, but musically it feels unfamiliar and hesitant. Frankly, it will go down as a defining but not memorable album for the artist. 


SINGLE: “Rush” by Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan released a single on July 13 titled “Rush”. Sivan hasn’t released music since August of 2020, with “Rush” being his comeback into the music scene; we can only expect good things from the upcoming album, “Something to Give Each Other”. Lyrically “Rush” isn’t anything to gawk at, the lyrics are about a drug-enhanced encounter with presumably a partner. The line “I feel the rush,” is a double entendre that could mean the rush of adrenaline one gets while meeting someone new or the popular Australian drug Rush. Musically, the song is reminiscent of a 2010s-era EDM club mix. The track has the perfect build-up into the chorus, and in the last lines of the chorus, there is a pulsing effect that feels like surround sound. Overall, the song has set the standards for the coming album very high. 



ALBUM: “Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever)” by Noah Kahan

Noah Kahan’s deluxe version of “Stick Season” includes six new songs and an extended edition of fan-favorite “The View Between Villages”. With an additional 28 minutes of runtime, Kahan is able to expertly craft new narratives in just six songs. While the experiences he sings about are niche, he is able to make them sound relatable. “Dial Drunk” is an expert example of this. The story follows Kahan as he is arrested for presumably public intoxication. Throughout he laments on how he would “die a drunk” to attain his lover’s attention. When he’s given a phone call at the police station, the person he calls does not even pick up. To add insult to injury, even the cops agree that they were in the wrong for ignoring the call. Despite the very specific situation, the song is an easy addition to any “screaming in my car” playlist one might have.

Kahan takes a more vulnerable and sensitive side with “Call Your Mom.” The song is about encouraging someone in your life to do something as simple as living. As someone who has struggled with severe depression, I related to both sides of the song. The bridge reaches a climax wherein he tries to give the listener reasons to live. It is so poignant and raw.

Another favorite (they are all good, but I can’t elaborate on all of them) is “You’re Gonna Go Far.” Growing up is the worst. Everyone knows that. However, Kahan encourages the listener to go out and change the world, because they are better at following their dreams than they are in their hometown.

Kahan is a lyrical master. He has solidified a forever spot in my playlist.


ALBUM: “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

“Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is the third rerecording released by Taylor Swift. The album had six “From The Vault” tracks, including features from Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Fall Out Boy. “Speak Now” was originally released in 2010 and was a country favorite for many, but “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” revives a classic into a 2020s hit. Tracks provide a nostalgic listen for those who grew up listening to Swift. For those who are new fans, it provides a fresh take on songs you may have heard before. The “From The Vault” tracks show a new side to the era, too. 

“I Can See You” was the single for the album, and a music video was announced via a sold-out concert. The song brings a pop feel to the otherwise country album. It integrates itself well, however, as Swift is best at making sonically cohesive albums. 

Other favorites “From The Vault” include “When Emma Falls In Love” and “Electric Touch.” Like “I Can See You,” “Electric Touch” is a nice pop song to go alongside its country peers. It is a wonderful introduction to “Speak Now”’s vault. Fall Out Boy was a wonderful addition to the album.

As someone who grew up with “Speak Now,” I am so glad that I have “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” to nurse me through my twenties.


SINGLE: “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish

“What Was I Made For?” is a song released by Billie Eilish for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie (2023). The song discusses themes of girlhood and what it means to have a purpose. The song diverts from Eilish’s usual style, with accompaniment from a solo piano. The song would not be as impactful with heavy production, however. Its simplicity is what makes it so meaningful.

Despite being about a Barbie, women have been resonating with its words and messages. Oftentimes as women, we are expected to be more of an ideal than a person. That can lead a lot of people to feel a lack of purpose or self. One of the biggest questions I found myself asking myself was “What am I doing all of this for?” 

Growing up and changing is one of the hardest things about being a person in general. Eilish has always had an excellent way of expressing complex emotions in simple words. “What Was I Made For?” is the perfect example of her style of songwriting. She can invoke so many emotions with the simplest of words

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About the Contributors
Emma Tanner, Editor-in-Chief
Emma is Editor-in-Chief of the Flor-Ala. She is a senior from Killen, Ala. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and digital media. She was previously Managing Editor for the spring 2023 semester. She also served as News Editor from Jan. 2022 to Dec. 2022. She was previously a volunteer writer. Her favorite topics to cover are profiles and local news. Tanner has written since her childhood and grew a passion for journalism during high school. Aside from working on the Flor-Ala, she was also a research assistant for a psychological study at UNA and served as CASE ambassador president for the Fall 2022 semester.
Trenedy Parks, News Editor
Trenedy Parks is a sophomore from Fayetteville, Tenne. She is working towards a bachelor’s degree in journalism and digital media. She has worked as a staff writer for The Flor-Ala since Aug. 2022, and as News Editor since Aug. 2023. Her goals as a writer are to learn more about Florence and its community and to become more involved with the people of UNA.

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