Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Grading our Homegrown Artists

Let’s bury your first question right now: yes, we do have a record label.

Last November, Hoot/Wisdom Recordings dropped a release party at Coyote Jack’s, trumpeting the debut of six spanking new albums from FAU’s finest – students and faculty. Not only that, but Hoot/Wisdom said they would be marketing the CDs online as MP3 downloads.

Say, that’s the sort of thing that begs local newspaper coverage, right? Wrong – not a single review in existence. So, University Press snatched a few copies and graded ’em. The verdict is in: Amy Monk’s Second Chances scores top honors, while James Cunningham’s Didgeridoo Diversions is a didgeri-don’t. Here’s our scorecard for

Amy MonkSecond Chances****


With a soft guitar ballad and catchy upbeat songs, FAU premed senior Amy Monk’s debut album Second Chances is definitelya hit.

Upon learning of Amy Monk, I was expecting a heavy-handed country tone and plenty of two-steppin’ dance music. Turns out, it’s a blend of pop, country and even soft rock. Her voice is soothing and mingles the stylistic trends of pop faves Carrie Underwood, Jewel and Jessica Simpson.

“At the End of the Day” is a chorus of light drums that are complimented by Monk’s lilting voice, all of which emphasize her style of music.

Her other track is an upbeat ballad, and Monk croons in a beautiful, melancholy voice that you’ll definitely love once you finish. Second Chances will surely attract an audience with diverse tastes in genres of music.

Cuarteto Latinoamericano and Heather ColtmanClocks***1/2


FAU professor Heather Coltman and Grammy-nominated string quartet Cuarteto Latinoamericano’s Clocks might be impressive for classical fans, but it’s not something listen-worthy while driving or any other time outside the concert hall.

First thing’s first: skip the first three tracks (the “Piano Quintet” section) for “Charango Capriccioso” and “Clocks.” The “Clocks” suite in particular mimics timepieces without sounding cheesy. Despite the album’s rough beginning, it’s an easy listen.

Clocks won’t exactly appeal to college crowds itching for dance music, but it’ll definitely find its audience.

Florida Woodwind QuintetFives for Five**


The Florida Woodwind Quintet’s debut album Fives for Five might be lengthy in certain songs, but this offering turned out downright boring.

Think elevator muzak, but worse. “Duo For Viola & Bassoon (1991) in Movement,” for example, reminds one of an old black-and-white 1930s flick – plodding and lifeless.

It doesn’t get better, either. The succeeding tracks are too mellow and don’t have distinguishing flavor. The melodramatic tracks were saddening; not for the gloomy tone, mind you, but out of pity for this poor freshman effort.

Irena Kofman and André De GrooteRussian Treasures****


Definition of Russian folk-era chamber music: two pianistsdueling their guts out on the spotlighted parquet. Gotta love it.

FAU professor Irena Kofman and eminent Belgian Andre de Groote cut one mindblowing spectacle here, paying homage toRussian virtuosos like Sergei Rachmaninov.

Rachmaninov’s “Italian Polka” reminds one of drunken tavern fighting, while Mussorgsky’s “Scherzo” crescendos to a trippy melody, segues to a melancholic tune, then surges into a mishmash of springy pitch. All 17 tracks are certain to sate any piano junkie.

James E. CunninghamDidgeridoo Diversions*


FAU assistant professor James E. Cunningham’s Didgeridoo Diversions seemed nothing more than self-imposedtorture.

I honestly thought my ears were bleeding after the fact; luckily, they weren’t. This album features some weird instrument whose sound closely resembles a lawnmower choking on a plastic toy, or perhaps the mating call of a salad shooter.

Each track seemed more unbearable than the last. I suggest this to anyone plotting to get revenge; otherwise, get ready for theheadache of your life.

PierreNice Trip****


Nice Trip by FAU alumnus Pierre is a wonderful blend of cool contemporary jazz, soothing percussion and catchy beats that made me want to tap my foot.

The album was only two tracks long, but both songs were diverse in sound, tempo and instrument use. “Nice Trip” carried super-fast beats, while “Hispaniola” claimed a slower tempo with reggae elements.

Thankfully, Nice Trip isn’t strictly for jazz lovers; it has sophistication of modern-day jazz with the mellowness of JackJohnson.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say? Submit your comments below
All UNIVERSITY PRESS Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *