Say Yes To Full Albums And No To Radio Hits

Say Yes To Full Albums And No To Radio Hits

Those songs in the middle or at the very end of an album that you listen to right before you fall asleep. The ones that kinda make you feel like you're floating for like two and a half minutes.
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As some of you may know, I am a huge music fanatic. I love to sing along to my favorite songs even though, I sadly cannot sing (sorry for killing your ears). But while I am a huge music fanatic, radio hits are nothing to me. Sure, there are some good radio hits out there, but most of it sounds the same because it is all designed for the radio.

Artists tend to pull that one song off their album that is not the greatest one but has the potential to be a great radio hit. This is why I do not listen to the radio often because I know that the artists have something better to offer. You just have to dig deeper and listen to their album.

In 2016 I saw Shawn Mendes for the first time, and it was a dream come true. But the one thing I really took away from his concert was the speech he made right before he sang "Three Empty Words."

“I found myself narrowing it down to not the songs you hear on the radio every day, but those songs in the middle or at the very end of an album that you listen to right before you fall asleep. The ones that kinda make you feel like you're floating for like two and a half minutes. I wanted to create something that not only I would get lost in but every single person that listened to this song would also hopefully get lost in. I am most proud of this one not because it’s the biggest hit but because of how true and real and how relatable the story is. All the factors leading into it being that simple song right in the middle of the album that I listen to right before I fall asleep, really really proud of this one hope you guys love it. This is called Three Empty Words.” -Shawn Mendes

Truly, this speech not only inspired me, but I really related to it. I clearly remember standing above in the balcony, practically in tears because I felt like I could relate a thousand-percent. I had my best friend with me, and I knew she could not relate as much because she does not listen to full albums.

I am that girl that listens to an album from track one all the way to the last track. I get enjoyment out of it, and I learned the artist better than if I was just listening to the one radio hit.

Just like Shawn Mendes said, "those songs in the middle of the album or at the very end of an album that you listen to right before you fall asleep," there is always that one song I completely fall in love with. It is the song that is just so perfect you cannot get enough of.

I listen to it right before bed, when I get in the car right away or multiple times while I'm in the car or just playing it over and over again to cheer you up. That is why I listen to albums, to find that one song that is truthful and written with passion.

I remember falling asleep listening to the One Direction album "Up All Night" back in 2012. I would fast forward the first couple tracks because they were radio hits. I want to listen to what is in the middle and the end. I want it all. The songs at the very end were my favorite ones.

I want to listen to the song they were most afraid to write and put on the album because those songs are worth it. The songs they struggle to open up at first but then get it all down on paper. The song that made the album worth it to them.

Because going back to Shawn Mendes' song "Three Empty Words," it is definitely the one song on his "illuminate" album that I did fall in love with. I thank Shawn every day for his speech because I could not think of better words to say it in.

So say yes to albums and no to radio hits. Learn the artists and expand your playlist to something that inspires you and makes you feel alive.

Cover Image Credit: Pxhere

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Poetry as A Way to Process Body Image

A poem about my hands
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The prompt for this poem was "what do my hands know?". I've answered this prompt before and written about being a musician who creates aural art with her hands, but this time I turned my contemplation in a different direction—toward my hands themselves.

I think it's interesting that I chose to conflate knowledge with a realization of aesthetic value independent from traditional social norms for women in the current US culture.


A History of My Hands

By Lydia Solodiuk

My hands know that they are beautiful.

It was a reckoning a long time in coming.

I hated their oversizedness, having a man’s hands in the 5th grade isn’t what any girl wants.

I hated that I didn’t have pianist hands even though I was a pianist in my younger days

It took a visit to a laser esthetician office’s,

She, heavily coated with makeup and derision, judged my hands unacceptable to the feminine norm.

So I ran outside, into the narrow parking lot bordering a small highway. Everything smelled like exhaust and rubber and pizza sauce.

I watched the man through the grimy window shape a pizza with his bulky man hands into a perfect swirling circle.

That was the beginning of love, for me and my hands.

What a poetic beginning for a girl descended from Sicilian orchards

Where grimy, hardworking hands slowly caressed lemons into wooden boxes.


Cover Image Credit: Public Domain

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Who IS Allowed To Talk About Gun Control?

I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.
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Who is allowed to talk about gun control?

I see a lot of stuff on social media saying that teenagers don’t know enough to talk about gun control. Why? If a teenager dies of cancer, their friends talk about cancer. If a teenager dies because they were hit by a drunk driver on Prom night, the high school scares their students into not drinking and driving. Guess what, 17 teenagers were killed last week. Why are their friends not allowed to have an opinion on that? They have been going to funerals every day since Friday. I can’t imagine having to go to the funeral of the guy I sat next in math class. People my age aren’t supposed to die, we are supposed to graduate and get our dream job. A high school student should be thinking about homework and what movie they're seeing this weekend, not if that noise in the hallway was a man with a gun.

In media, we project images of strong teenagers. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, they are all books and movies depicting kids in situations they don’t like. The main characters fight the system causing an uproar from the adults. But, in the end the teenagers are victorious, their prize is happiness and spending their adult lives in peace. Why would adults feed their children these novels and not expect the message to be taken to heart.

Ou president is a 71 year old white man, there were approximately 14 incidents where shots were fired in a school. That is about as many as there have been in 2018. I have no idea what changed, what has made this number dramatically increase. But obviously something needs to change. Why does President Trump feel threatened by the idea of making the ability to purchase a gun less accessible?

Personally, I don’t think that we need to make all guns illegal. There are many people, several of which I’m related to, who legally own guns that have only ever been used to shoot animals during their designated hunting seasons. But, last week I watched in horror as the news story of a guy that I graduated with was shot and killed. He had recently bought a pump action shotgun and was showing friends when it accidentally went off and shot him in the chest.In our society, guns are not going to disappear, but they are far too prevalent and easily accessible to those who clearly do not need to be in possession them.

The students of Douglas High School do not want to do away with guns. They want to make sure that no one ever has to worry about their friends, children, siblings or any one else while they are trying to get an education. I have more questions than there are answers but I hope that we are on the way to a country with far less gun violence.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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