The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Hudson Woods throws his arms out after a play before getting into position
Hudson Woods climbs to new heights after standout sophomore season
Jonathan Jones, Sports Writer • May 18, 2024
Joshua Velasquez committed to serving his country in the U.S. Army.
Beyond basic
Margaret Edmonson, Adviser • May 17, 2024
Sydney Rakowitz will study education and training and music at the University of Incarnate Word.
Seniors sign to continue athletic, non-athletic careers
Valley Ventana, Staff • May 16, 2024
Boy Scouts of America announced on May 7 the organizations name will change to Scouting America on the organizations 115th birthday Feb. 8, 2025. Photo by JV via
Boy Scouts changing name after 115 years
Grayson Cook, Staff writer • May 15, 2024
The top 15 students in the senior class receive special recognition at graduation on May 22 due to their hard work throughout high school. 
Graphic by Alex Whelchel via Canva
Profile: Top 15 seniors
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • May 13, 2024

February music monthly

A recap of songs and albums from this past month
Still from singer Faye Webster’s music video for “But Not Kiss.” Out now on Secretly Canadian Records.



“A Cold Sunday” by Lil Yachy

Genre: Jazz Rap

Rating: [8/10]


“Bandit” by Don Toliver

Genre: Alternative RnB

Rating: [7/10]


“Overcompensate” by twenty one pilots

Genre: Pop Rock

Rating: [6/10]


“TEXAS HOLD EM” by Beyoncé

Genre: Country Pop

Rating: [8/10]


“Von dutch” by Charli XCX

Genre: Electro-House

Rating: [8/10]




“2093” by Yeat

Genre: Rage

Rating: [7.5/10]

Looking 79 years into the future, Yeat envisions a world of layered rage beats and repeating lyrics of money and Tonka trucks. Yeat’s feature on Drake’s “For All The Dogs” was when it finally hit me that the balaclava wearing rapper had made it to superstardom. Since then he’s skyrocketed in popularity, having multiple hit songs and recognition. While I admire his rise, his music has never really done much for me, I’ve found his sound to mirror other rage artists who do it better. However, Yeat really comes into his own on “2093,” through its futuristic themes and sounds. The producers behind the album really work some magic, BNYX’s production choice is very apparent throughout the album and leads to some stunning beats. I also just appreciate its uniqueness to sample things such as Crystal Castles “Fleece” and even music from Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show,” it adds a lot of personality. It can tend to be infectious, vocal inflections on tracks like “Breathe” and “ILUV” work their way into your brain and don’t leave. I’m glad to see Yeat’s progression on this project and am excited to see what’s next for him.

Favorite Songs: “Breathe,” “ILUV,” “Shade,” and “Familia”

Least Favorite: “2093” 


“Loss of Life” by MGMT

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Rating: [8.5/10]

After a long hiatus, the Psych Rock duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser return for a glamorous 5th album. MGMT have never shied away from their artsy psychedelic sounds and themes, but on “Loss of Life” they play into, creating a sound unlike the rest of their albums. Where “Little Dark Age” was largely gloomy synthpop, or where “Congratulations” focused on the sounds of surf rock, their newest really plays into glam rock ballads. The album can sound grandiose or small when it needs to be, it brings a good variety of sounds and songwriting. As a whole, it might not be the most exciting, but it is a rewarding piece of music amongst their catalog which is more than enough.

Favorite Songs: “Mother Nature,” “Bubblegum Dog,” “Nothing To Declare,” Nothing Changes,” and “Loss of Life”

Least Favorite: “Dancing In Babylon”


“Underdressed at the Symphony” by Faye Webster

Genre: Indie Rock

Rating: [7/10]

Faye Webster’s big fifth studio album is a decent batch of tracks held together with duct tape. Faye is one of the biggest Indie stars out at the moment with countless hit songs that I bet almost everyone has heard at this point, and with “Underdressed at the Symphony,” you’d think she’d play into her strengths. The tracks on here are as you’d expect, groovy, loose tracks about love which have really worked for Webster in the past, however here there’s either too much or not enough. Cuts like “Thinking About You” and “Lifetime” are lengthy, spanning around 6 minutes each, but don’t have enough going on to warrant it. Then tracks like “Feeling Good Today” and “He Loves Me Yeah!,” use this warbly autotune that simply doesn’t sound good. I can see that Faye is trying to achieve a new sound for her music, but it isn’t having the right effect. That isn’t to discredit the whole album, singles like “But Not Kiss” and “Lego Ring” are super catchy and fun, playing into her talents, but are too far in between to create a truly great listening experience.

Favorite Tracks: “But Not Kiss,” “Lego Ring,” and “Underdressed at the Symphony”

Least Favorites: “Feeling Good Today” and “He Loves Me Yeah!”


“VULTURES 1” by Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign

Genre: Experimental Hip-Hop

Rating: [7/10]

Kanye and Ty Dolla $ign’s long awaited collaborative project is an enjoyable mess. The two superstars first installment of the “VULTURES” series releases after multiple delays and revisions, spanning nearly six months. The final product feels unfinished, but has a few moments that shine on their own. However, even when trying to separate the album from Kanye’s recent controversies, its shortcomings are a byproduct of his arrogant mindset. His anti semitism is a big problem and something that shouldn’t just be overlooked because of new music, but judging the album from a solely musical standpoint, it has its strengths and weaknesses. As an album, it doesn’t fully know what it wants to be, it’s more a batch of vague musical soundscapes rather than a comprehensive album which is the albums biggest fault.

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