Be Kind, Because You Can't Rewind

Be Kind, Because You Can't Rewind

Kindness always counts.
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A few years back I was having trouble with my contacts. I’ve had them since I was in the sixth grade—so if you wear contacts, then you know that I’ve also been struggling with them since the sixth grade, too. That day my eyes were probably puffy and watery and just all gross. So gross that the best cure would’ve been going home, crawling under my covers, and sheltering my eyes from the world or else apocalypse would occur. Alright, so that’s dramatic, but contacts give a whole new definition to “the struggle is real.”

Why this hideous-eye-day stands out to me is because someone actually noticed, but not because they were staring or screaming in fear or passing out from the hideousness. Because this person thought I was crying. She stopped me and asked if I was alright and if I needed to talk.

That is one of the kindest things that anyone—especially a stranger—has ever done for me. Something so simple as taking the time to stop in the sprint that is trying to get across campus in time for class, and then asking me if I was OK, has stuck with me. Maybe it’s stupid to say, but that moment made me want to be a better person. To do that for someone else.

I don’t know who she was, but whoever you are, thanks for that!

I’ve always believed in karma. That ignoring someone who looks like they need a moment of kindness or saying something mean or choosing to look the other way is wrong. It’s always felt like in doing so that the person who does that sort of thing will earn them a time when they need someone and look to find no one there. But the more that I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve come to realize that karma doesn’t really exist. Sometimes bad things just happen and there’s no one there. And if there’s no one there—maybe it is because of something you did or didn’t do. At that point, it’s not some fate reigning down on you; it’s your own choices. So long as you believe in free will, you can’t exactly believe that fate is making those choices for you—that karma is punishing you for making a choice, albeit wrong. Sometimes it’s just one you and you have to face that. You have to face that in the end, it’s kindness you want following you around, because the other stuff will make you into someone forgettable and just another person doing nothing. You don’t make a difference that way.

You don’t even have to reach out to people who look like they need a friend, because sometimes I’ve found that it’s the little things that help. Telling someone that you like their shoes or thanking a person for taking time to hold the door open can make a difference—bring a smile to a sad face or make a smile even bigger. One of my favorite things to do is to tell a sales or desk worker to have a nice day before they can tell me.

I think that in this life, it’s important to see that the world is bigger than you. Fate doesn’t have the time to punish you for not helping someone or being kind. That’s where you come in—where you hold the reigns to your own self-proclaimed fate. The key to making life a happy, fulfilled voyage is that you handle those reigns with kindness instead of fire.

So what have you done today? What will you do tomorrow? Hey, I like your shirt.

Cover Image Credit: Top 10 List

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Opeth: 'Deliverance' Album Review

'Deliverance' boasts Opeth's darkest and heaviest songwriting in their entire discography
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Line-up:

Mikael Åkerfeldt - vocals, guitars

Peter Lindgren - guitars

Martin Lopez - drums

Martín Méndez - bass

Additional info:

Steven Wilson - vocals, guitars, keyboards, mellotron

Recorded at Nacksving Studios and Studio Fredman.

Engineered by Opeth, Fredrik Nordström, Fredrik Reymerdahl & Steven Wilson.

Produced by Opeth and Steven Wilson.

Deliverance is the sixth studio album by Swedish Extreme progressive metal band Opeth. It was released on November 12, 2002, through Music for Nations Records. The album's total length is 61:50. The band originally intended for Deliverance and their following album Damnation to be released as a double album, but the record company decided against this and released them separately, about five months apart from each other in order to promote them each with the proper amount of time and care.

Opeth's last album Blackwater Park is a masterpiece and instead of trying to make a similar album, the band went in a new direction. Deliverance still features Opeth's classic progressive death metal sound, but the band implemented some noticeable changes beginning with a much darker sounding production, heavier guitars, and a more straightforward death metal approach at times. This was a welcome change that added another unique release to the band's already impressive discography.

Favorite Tracks:

Track 5: "Master's Apprentices"

This is one of Opeth's heaviest tracks that they have ever composed. The main guitar riff and blast beating that occurs throughout the first three minutes of this track is ridiculously heavy and catchy. Mikael's ridiculous low growled vocals sets the heavy mood of this track perfectly. When I thought that this song was just going to be pretty straightforward and heavy, Opeth switches it up and the track goes into a more mellow progressive rock sound with beautiful clean singing and instrumentation. The ending to the track is just as heavy and explosive as the beginning.

Track 2: "Deliverance"

The title track is one of the band's best. The riffs are ridiculously catchy and heavy. Yet again, Martin Lopez begins by blast beating on the drums. Mikael's mix of both clean vocals and ferocious growls show off Opeth's dualism that makes them such a special band. The song's sudden shift between soft and heavy moments keeps the listener on the edge throughout the song's entirety. The epic closing instrumental section of this track is one of the best closing sections of all time in progressive music. Every time that I listen to this song I cannot help but smile because of how well written it is.

Track 1: "Wreath"

This song is perfectly placed as the opening track of this album. It is one of Opeth's heaviest and most ferocious tracks that the band has ever done. I have never heard Mikael quite sound as dark and downright scary as he does on this track. It has mostly low growls and very little when it comes to clean vocals. If Opeth needed to appeal more to the straightforward death metal crowd this is the track to do it. Musically, its still progressive in nature though and the track lasts eleven minutes. "Wreath" sets the mood perfectly for what this album is going to sound like.

My Verdict:

This may not be as "perfect" as Blackwater Park, but it contains a different sound that is focused on being heavier and darker than the band has ever been before. This album features Mikael's best low growls, the band's heaviest riffs, and some of Martin Lopez's best drum work to date. I think that if I had to point out one extremely small weakness that the album has is the short instrumental "For Absent Friends" which is wasted space that disrupts the flow of the album slightly. Other than those two minutes, this album is yet another perfect Opeth release that is one of the band's most underappreciated in their entire discography.

Grade: A+

Cover Image Credit: vevo.com

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A Must Have Pool Side Convo

Diving Into the Greatest Artist of Our Generation — Frank Ocean
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Until the day of Blonde’s, it seemed as if Frank Ocean didn’t actually exist. As days became weeks and turned into long-awaited years, the anticipation for his album was over.

For the last part of 2016, everyone was drowned in the beauty of Frank Ocean’s 60 minutes released of Blonde. A product of a man who took his time to release an album jam-packed with nothing but his raw emotion and passionate yet musical talent for the art of music. A boundary-pushing music album where he left no room for error and combined his natural vocals with sophisticated lyrical contemplations.

The creation of Blonde is an album that still sounds brand new a full 365 days after its release, a rare accomplished which Frank Ocean was able to effortlessly achieved. Through his ideas, events, references to other music, and personal stories, the album captures and reveals parts of Frank Ocean’s life and his extraordinary process of songwriting.

There is a cinematic quality to that draws you in. The lyric storytelling and atmosphere it paints it nothing ever heard of before. Even without the usage of a visual aid, the album itself still is able to create its own vivid imagery. The images of childhood, lost summers, and cars.

While cars have been represented by men as status, wealthy, and especially masculinity, Frank Ocean instead uses them to articulate a sense of vulnerability and intimacy. His usage of cars is a framing device used to dive into moments of where you are driving alone. The album becomes private, self-reflecting, and personal.

As the world thinks of Frank Ocean as an enigmatic figure, almost hidden from the world because his lack of social media presence in our fame-obsessed culture, this is what defines his works from most other artists. His personal depth and restraint take you on a journey through his mind keeping you as close as to the passenger seat where you ride into his heartfelt album.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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