Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
Matinee Music Poster Image
Popular ska-soul-pop artist will delight tweens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Themes of unrequited and past love, self-actualization, and missing home


"Run for your life" talks about endless cycle of fighting/prejudice that goes on because of differences, but nothing violent: "It's bait to be hateful, but nasty and hateful/People aren't grateful/they sow the seed into their offspring/Costing kids to be fostering ideas that lead to/fighting, biting, run for your lives."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Few innocent mentions: "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" and "Hops to make beer/that's all you need."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this ska-soul-pop artist has been in Teen Vogue, was cited in Rolling Stone as a "Breaking Artist" to look for, and he has played the as supporting act for the notorious Amy Winehouse. But there's nothing to worry about: Jack Penate's popularity comes from his unique, safe sound and quirky, noteworthy dancing when performing live.

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What's the story?

MATINEE, Jack Penate's debut album, is a stylish, surprising blend of ska-soul indie pop that keeps you guessing with simple, clever lyrics and storytelling music. This British 23-year-old has his own sound, but is reminiscent of the late Jeff Buckley, whom he credits as an influence on his music.

Is it any good?

Penate is praised for his eccentric live-performance dancing, and judging from his music, his moves must be pretty creative to keep up. From catchy chords and music that is as lyrical as the words, Penate has quite an energy and style that is contagious on its own. He's British punk pop with a little soul. From the popular "Spit at Stars" to the upbeat "Have I Been a Fool," Penate manages to match the rhythm in his words to the quick-changing music. But just when you think you have his style pegged, he surprises and delights with a sweet, haunting melody like "My Yvonne," with a lovely lilting vocal accompaniment by the singer Adele. Jack Penate's youthful energy, cute falsetto, and punky beats on Matinee will have you coming back for more in the p.m. when the early show is over.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the differences, if any, in American and British musicians. Is there something mysterious or romantic about artists hailing from overseas? Is their music style different? Does someone's ethnic background or nationality help shape the image that is, fairly or unfairly, given to them by the media and entertainment industry?

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