Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Top 5 Albums of 2018 featured great mixing

Dan Flavin
Music Critic

 2018 was filled with great albums, but a few stood out. Albums like “A Love Letter to You 3” and “TA13OO” have highlighted the year, but some albums like, “Street Gossip” and “Scorpion” have been totally underwhelming. We are going to highlight our top five favorite albums of the year.

5. Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2- Lil Peep
     The late Lil Peep’s first “Posthumous” project released on Nov. 9 was a hit. The music that all fans missed was back. Songs like ”Runaway” and “16 Lines” brought his unorthodox instrumentals and his vocal style that is not usually connected to rap music. On the album Peep talks about his struggles with drug addiction and his love life. It sold 81,000 equivalent units in the first week of its release and charted number five on Billboard Hot 100. The negatives with Peeps album is that if feels repetitive after a while of listening, but the album has lasting power because of Peep’s death. “With Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2” most likely being Peep’s last album, it will be listened to for years to come.
4. Goodbye and Good Riddance- Juice Wrld
     Juice Wrld’s debut album combined hard hitting trap beats with a sad melodic voice and heartbroken lyrics. Juice’s ability to create intricate flows and evolving melodies to the well produced instrumental throughout the album is fabulous. Not only are the instrumentals great the songs are mixed and mastered well for a debut album. The only issues come on songs like “All Girls are the Same,” which was created before Juice was able to record in high level studios. Although the quality is a bit lower than the rest “All Girls are the Same” seems to be a definition of Juice Wrld in one song. The hard hitting 808’s in the beat complimented by the chippy melody and bouncy hi-hats were used to lift his singing and flow to a new level. The emotion in his voice makes the song much better along with the creative flow he used. “Goodbye and Good Riddance” sold 39,000 units in its first week, but has continued to glow. We still find ourselves listening to this album on a regular basis and don’t think that will change for a while.

3. Tha Carter V- Lil Wayne
     After a long legal battle with his former label Wayne was finally given the rights to release the fifth installment in his “Tha Carter” series. After years of waiting since “Carter IV,” “Carter V” was finally here. The 23-track album was great from top to bottom. Stand out tracks such as “Let it  Fly (feat. Travis Scott)” and “Don’t Cry (feat. XXXTENTATION)” were incredible and showed Wayne’s versatility to work with new artists. Those weren’t the only standout, “Dedicate” started off with a bouncy piano riff and distorted voice telling of all Lil Wayne has done for music. Wayne then comes in and spits two minutes of bars telling of not only the money he has made, but the artists he has made. He raps, “I started this s---, you just part of this s---”, telling all new rappers that he started the face tattooed “Lil” rappers. Wayne’s flaunting doesn’t stop there, the next track “Uproar” is a banger of 2018. The song will instantly turn a room from one to ten due to the upbeat instrumental produced by legend Swizz Beatz. Wayne talks about money and drugs as usual, but also weaves his classic wordplay into the song. There weren’t too many downsides to the album; the mixing was great and production was done well. The only thing I would change is I would shorten the track list down from 23. The album sold an insane 480,000 equivalent units in its first week. Proving its classic status it has definitely earned.
2. Beerbongs & Bentleys-Post Malone
     Off the release of “Stoney” Post Malone was growing rapidly. He went from unknown to one of the biggests artists in the game in a few months. Fans were expecting big things for his anticipated album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys” and he sure delivered. Post’s unique voice seems as if it can’t get old throughout the album. On the track “Better Now” he goes off with the vocals, lyrics and emotion in his voice. You can feel his first anger then sadness throughout the track. Not only are his vocals great, but the production is awesome as well. The beats range from eerie synths to distorted guitars and he kills all of them. “Over Now’s” distorted guitar, but simple drum pattern seems to fit perfectly with Posts out of style angry lyrics and style. Post Malone is known for his sad mellow lyrics, but he totally switched it up and did amazing. The flaw with the album comes with the overdone theme of heartbreak and drug abuse. However, themes and meanings of albums don’t matter to us as much as good sounding music so B&B is still very high on the list. Not only is the music great, but it did numbers. It charted number one on the Billboard Hot 100 selling 461,000 the first week. Not only were the equivalent sales massive the streaming numbers smashed records. B&B racked up 431.3 million streams in its first week of release. Those are unheard of numbers for an artist still gaining a following.
1. Astroworld- Travis Scott
     The number one album seemed to be unanimous. “Astroworld” had the theme, it had the numbers, and it had the quality. Travis Scott proved that he is one of the best artists in the game with his masterpiece. Named after a Houston Amusement Park that was closed when he was a child, he wanted to make an album that would capture the emotion of taking fun away from kids and he certainly did that. The intro track “Stargazing” has and incredible instrumental, which seems to be common on this album, and Travis’ signature highly autotuned almost distorted voice fans have come to love. He creates an atmosphere that we have never heard before. If someone turns on a song from “Astroworld” everyone immediately knows. The ominous yet upbeat tracks make the album a great listen. The only thing the album lacks is a lot of straight rapping and lyrical ideas, but it doesn’t really matter because the listeners ears always have something to listen to. There is always a new instrument being added or a humming Travis in the background. The production is just flat out amazing. It feels like Travis and his team spent months mixing and mastering the project to perfection. The track list is long enough to satisfy the two year wait, but short enough to keep you interested. Astro earned 537,000 equivalent sales it’s first week and has continued to be on the billboard chart since. It even charted number one again the week of December second rivaling 6ix9ine’s “Dummy Boy.” The breakout track “Sicko Mode” progresses through three beat switch ups that totally change the style of the song. The third beat in the song is produced by Tay Keith a producer who has proven his upbeat drums have a major effect on not only the track as a whole, but crowd reaction. Another stand out track is “Yosemite” with Gunna and Nav. Gunna opens the song on the acoustic guitar riff which sounds like a match made in heaven and Travis picks up where he left off. The song holds one of the only negatives for the album though. Right at the end when Navs verse starts his voice goes super quiet and you can barely hear it. Although it could be intentional to make the song fade out, it is likely it is a mixing mistake, the only on the album and somehow so obvious. The album was overall amazing and will be listened to for years that is why “Astroworld” is undoubtedly the album of the year.
    Roberto Escamilla and Nate Donohoe contributed to this review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How to Survive Black Friday 2018

Devon Beacham
Staff Writer

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, all are excited for the meals they are going to share with their families. But, with Thanksgiving comes Black Friday! Black Friday is the day that every shopper and sale connoisseur looks forward to each year. It’s the perfect time to buy a new video game, pair of designer shoes, flat screen TV, and so much more. However, this holiday definitely brings stress and excitement, due to the craziness that the malls across America endure. To survive Black Friday, you’ve got to be prepared! Here are some ways to help you and whomever, have a safe and successful holiday this 2018.
  Firstly, know what you want. Start creating a list of things you want to buy for yourself, whether that requires the main idea of the type of products you want, or if you know exactly what you’ve got your eye on. A way to do that is getting some research in! Look at some of your favorite stores online and see if they have started to promote their deals ahead of time. If you want to go the extra mile, write type in your notes on your phone the stores you want to go to and the deals they’re having. Of course, traditionally, Black Friday is the commencement of the Holiday shopping for your loved ones, so take advantage of that and get a good idea of who you are shopping for and what you want to purchase, so you're not running around last minute.
Next, go with friends or family. Carpooling is great for the environment plus you only have to find one parking spot! You don’t want to be wasting precious shopping time looking for a parking spot, so either carpool or have someone drop you and whomever off to avoid the process entirely! Also, traffic is typically hectic, so make sure you leave at a time that works with your party, plan out your route and times.
If you have been saving up for this event, go buck wild, spend the money you saved specifically for this and spend it well! But, for those who haven’t and want to follow a strict budget, a good way to prevent yourself from being impulsive after you have reached your max limit is by just bringing your max limit in cash! This is a perfect way to discipline your spending to keep you from splurging, which you may regret. Something about using cash just makes you feel more guilty, when you bring a credit/debit card, you just swipe, swipe, swipe!
As the day gets near, a good idea would be to get a map of the mall you will be attending and plan your mission. Figure out exactly what stores you want to visit and those you are going with as well. After you get to all your desired destinations, definitely casually visit some other stores, because you never know what you might find, especially on Black Friday.
Finally, when the day arrives, make sure you have a charged phone. This tip is very important, especially if you are with a group. With deal-hungry people causing chaos in the mall, being alone can be scary! So, make sure you have a charged device in case you get removed from your group so you can quickly locate them. Although, sometimes the service is poor in highly concentrated areas, such as a mall on Black Friday, so create a designated meeting point every few stores if necessary! Another thing: wear comfortable and loose clothing. This way you can go in and out of the dressing rooms without wasting any time.
All in all, creating a game plan and arriving prepared to Black Friday is a very wise choice. Hopefully, your Black Friday is successful and as stress-free as possible! If you don’t get the opportunity to purchase all that you wanted to, don't forget about Cyber Monday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Clarence Thomas vs. Brett Kavanaugh

Krupa Shah
Editor in Chief

Twenty seven years ago a young walked into the Hearing Room of the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify against her harasser. Coincidentally, the same events unfolded in the hearings for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. It was once Anita Hill and now its Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and both deserve to have their stories told.

In 1991, Anita Hill upended Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing. She accused him of sexually harassing her after she denied his previous advancements to date. Obviously, then Supreme Court-nominee Clarence Thomas vehemently denied the allegations stating, “ [this hearing is] a high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks,” referring to the idea that Hill’s purpose in testifying was to prevent him from entering a public position so she could further herself. These allegations were the first of their kind and left a deep mark on the confirmation hearings.

Sitting before and all white male panel of senators that made up the Senate Judiciary Committee, Anita Hill was grilled on her relationship with and the alleged actions of then Judge Clarence Thomas. Hill’s testimony alleges that Thomas sexually harassed her through discussion of sexual acts and other types of pornographic content, much of which was extremely salacious and was never deemed acceptable to discuss on the bench until now. Over and Over, she was, essentially, forced to repeat graphically, embarrassing details that would forever go down as one of the most brutal yet uncomfortable questioning in history. In the end, Clarence Thomas would be confirmed.

The echoes of Anita Hill’s testimony emanated from each of the words spoken by Dr. Ford in the September 27, 2018 hearing, proving that this hearing would be no different from the one that occured in 1991. Dr. Ford’s allegations of assault still caused shockwaves all throughout DC and the rest of country in terms of detailing Kavanaugh’s alleged actions towards her at that high school party 36 years ago. Furthermore, the account being detailed all these years later describes the “reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power,” explains Hill when discussing the parallels between the cases in 1991 and now.

The parallels between both of the cases are strikingly similar as both women are educators who accused people whom they had worked with and went a party with, respectively, as well as sitting before a predominantly white, male panel discussing the graphic details of each incident. Furthermore, both of their alleged perpetrators were eventually confirmed to the Supreme Court and have vehemently denied all of the allegations. However, this denial should not and does not discount both of these women’s stories.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The woods are "haunted" in October

Laney Hefelfinger and Lucie MacGillvray
Staff Writers

Happy Halloween! The Haunted Woods, organized by student volunteers at New Hope Solebury High School, will be taking place in the woods at the school on Oct. 25th-27th to celebrate the exciting and spooky Halloween! Students have been seen donning Haunted Woods shirts.The anticipation is extremely high.
   “We’re super excited! We’ve already started making the decorations! This year is going to be the scariest Haunted Woods yet!” exclaimed an ecstatic student.
   Another student claimed that the Haunted Woods is scarier than any other scary attraction. Why go to a haunted hayride when you could go the Haunted Woods?
  In the past, the Haunted Woods have been scare-your-socks-off horrifying, but this year, those involved have promised to deliver the most eerie event yet.
   Trick-or-treating may be fun, but nothing compares to the absolute fright of walking through the dark woods at night. If you aren’t spooked by cheesy and unrealistic costumes and decorations, then skip the trick-or-treating, and head to the woods instead.
   Instead of tuning into a Halloween Movie, feel like you’re in one. Face the horrors provided by student volunteers. The talented actors with realistic and scary costumes are actually your peers, whom have devoted lots of their time towards establishing their routes and actions. Come out and support these hard-working individuals by sharing a scream and a scare. These amazing students will knock your socks off!
  Don’t be a bore, coming to the Haunted Woods will be a score.

Monday, October 15, 2018

As the seasons change it's time to get excited about upcoming events!

Devon Beacham
Staff Writer

It is officially fall and though summer is dearly missed, there are so many reasons to look forward to this season! Although summer is fantastic, it’s hard to not look forward to fall!
Junior Kel MacDowell says, “I had an awesome summer break, and it’s been hard to see it go, but I'm looking forward to all the fun and beauty fall brings this year!” Nature’s colors are changing to beautiful hues of orange, yellow, green, red, brown, and more! It’s finally time to go outside and be able to wear warm clothing, such as sweatshirts, jackets, or jeans and be comforted in not worrying about being completely hot or freezing. It's “sweater weather.”
It’s now certainly valid to begin diving into the Halloween spirit. One of the best ways to immerse yourself - aside from putting in an effort to find a Halloween costume that isn’t offensive - is to rev up with Halloween movies and TV specials, especially if you’ve grown out of some of the more traditional outdoor holiday activities such as trick-or-treating. Everyone loves a good Halloween film, whether it is a thriller or family friendly. During the week, pondering creative costume ideas and bringing them to life can be a great preparation for the spooky October event.
Don’t know what to do on a nice fall weekend? Grab some friends on a Friday or Saturday night and go to a nearby haunted attraction our area has to offer to enjoy hayrides, haunted houses, mazes, bonfires (s'mores of course), live music, good food, warm drinks, and more, such as Shady Brook Farm, Sleepy Hollow, and more. A nice way to finish off your weekend of fall festivities could be going apple or pumpkin picking with friends or family and ending the night with carving, creating new apple recipes, chatting, and enjoying it all outside by the fire or inside with music!
But, before Halloween is Homecoming! With Homecoming comes choosing a stylish outfit, and the themed days all week leading up: the home football game on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Fall Fest on Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the field next to the stadium and the semi-formal dance on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the gym with your peers.
Our area offers some of the finest outdoor fall activities in the world, such as walking around town and getting a meal with your friends and family or going for a bike ride on the scenic Delaware River Canal. If you go visit Bowman's Tower, you can use the student discount for tickets to head up to see the naturally gorgeous view of the river and the fall colored trees.
Peddler’s Village is known for the many festivals they hold. Throughout the fall, you can view the scarecrows that are on display for the annual scarecrow competition. The OctoberFEAST and Halloween Spooktacular have passed, but you can still look forward to the Apple Festival on November 3-4, Kick Off to the Holidays Festival on Nov. 9, and the famous Grand Illumination on Nov. 16. Peddler’s Village does a nice job at keeping the season lively and festive.
All these reasons should have you excited and festive for the joyful season ahead and hopefully make the transition from summer to fall feel a little more smooth. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Apple announces macOS Mojave

Colin Morton
Staff Writer

Along with the new iOS 12 software updates, Apple has also announced that they will be bringing new features to all computers using macOS.  Some of these changes are cosmetic, for example the Mac lock screen will have a larger font and profile picture. However, there are quite a few new apps that will be readily available when the macOS 10.14 update comes out.  Apple created a new, more user friendly version of their DVD player app, and it only runs on 64-bit systems. Apple decided to make that change because they dropped all support for 32-bit systems.
    The name of the new macOS software is “Mojave.”  Mojave provides a “dark mode” to the user, and it automatically adjusts the brightness throughout the day.  It also allows the user to stack applications, using a feature called Stacks, on their desktop to organize files without creating folders.  Apple made it so their quick look is a photo editor too! The photo editor took some cues from Google Photos in that it will now create stylized photos and clips for you. Without opening some application to edit photos, you can just draw on the picture in a quick view of it!
    Apple is fourth largest computer company in the world. A leader in hardware and software, they are making sure that they stay that way with these new software updates.

Revolutionary new 3D printer

Colin Morton
Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard, more known as HP, is a widely known technology company that focuses on bettering the software in PCs.  However, recently there has been word that they are constructing a 3D printer that will revolutionize the world of 3D printing.  This printer is still a work in progress, and its engineers are located at the HP Innovation Center of Barcelona. This printer, in its earliest stages, can fully produce a cost-effective, light, durable biking helmet!
   Rob Enderle, of Tech News World, believes that what HP is doing is, “Just short of magic.”  These advances utilize HP’s imaging tech with their new printing abilities to produce virtually anything.  The products of HP’s 3D printer create these objects that cost one-tenth of what other companies can. This could be the future of quickly mass producing cars and other typically expensive items.  If HP can truly master what they’re working on, it could change the way production is handled.
   It’s assumed that this device won’t be available until 2020.  HP wants to get the new printing technology out to larger corporations before it reaches the open public.  Even when it becomes fully accessible to the public, it will still be a rare item to own. These products will cost between $100,000 - $300,000, price ranges differ according to size.  If students here at NHS had access to this technology, they could make more intricate products to be used in fundraisers. It also connects to career and college readiness and to allow students to better learn what it is like to be a real engineer creating products.