Top 3 Albums of 2016

We can all agree that 2016 wasn’t the greatest year. However, if there was one medium that got me through all the chaos, it was music. Nothing shortened the agonizing metro rides more than the sounds of MZShaidu and Casey Williams. There were three albums in particular this year that rose above the rest, proving that this decade has still got it when it comes to music. Here are my top 3 albums of 2015:

 

#3- RWBY Volume 3: The Original Soundtrack

Artist: Jeff & Casey Williams

Genre: Soundtrack

RWBY has the hands down greatest soundtracks of any piece of visual media. Not only does the music compliment the show perfectly, but each volume’s soundtrack stands alone as a fantastic album in its own right. Although RWBY Volume 1 still holds up as my favorite album of the trio, Volume 3 is a close contender. This album covers the gamut of genre and tone, ranging from upbeat pop tracks to somber orchestral pieces. Variety isn’t its only impressive feat. Each individual song is some of the best its genre has to offer. Divide is one of my all time favorite metal songs. Cold, with its beautiful orchestral backing, manages to make me tear up with each listening. Whichever genre of music you prefer, this album has it all, and at top quality for that matter.

 

#2- Bedroom Bedrock

Artist: MZShaidu (Vocals by Digibro and Endless Jess)

Genre: Rap

When I found out that Digibro and Endless Jess, my two all time favorite YouTubers and some of my biggest creative inspirations, were making a rap album together, I was ecstatic. This hype was only amplified when I learned that MZShaidu (Digibro’s brother), one of the best electronic musicians working today, was producing the beats. Despite my anticipation, Bedroom Bedrock did not disappoint. It quickly became my most listened to album of the year; I’ve probably heard it about 30 times all the way through. However, what stands out about Bedroom Bedrock to me the most is that it managed to make me appreciate a genre of music that I formerly hated- rap. The masterful writing of both Digibro and Endless Jess was extremely evident in the lyrics of every single track. It made me understand that rap wasn’t simply an outlet for artists to talk about all the sex and money that they have; rap can be poetry. Songs like Get Action! and ROTTEN are some of the most clever, well-written, and relatable “poems” I’ve ever heard. Listening to this album brought me back to the days where I was obsessed with poetry, reading legends like Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman for the first time. If you don’t like rap based on the same assumptions I had, you should definitely give this album a listen.

 

#1- Sunset Memories

Artist: ODDEEO

Genre: Synth Wave & Vocaloid

Sunset Memories is an album that was meant for 2016. In a year full of stark pessimism, we needed this. The short, but masterful record transports listeners into a future of optimism. This is a world of sprawling metropolis, flying cars, and humans coexisting seamlessly and peacefully with robots. The biggest worry the album’s protagonist has to face is falling in love with her best friend. The fact that he is a robot isn’t even an afterthought. The best part about Sunset Memories is that everything I just mentioned isn’t even expressed through lyrics. The genius world building is all ingrained in the aesthetic of the music. This is especially made apparent in the fantastic music video for This Feeling is a Cliche, which is a must watch, regardless if you are planning to listen to the album in its entirety. That’s what makes Sunset Memories so genius; it builds an entire world without even saying a single word about it. I know this expression is thrown around alot, but sitting back and closing your eyes while listening to this album will transport you. You will forget about all of the stress and worry of your daily life, and, just like Retro Gumi and Chromo 2000, focus on love in a beautiful future. If that isn’t something that people need this year, then I don’t know what is.

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How Trump Won- A Technical Perspective

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Source: The Associated Press

The 2016 presidential election has come and gone. After one of, if not the, longest elections cycles in American history, it seemed that many were ready for its passing. All of the controversy and lackluster media coverage didn’t ease this impatience. Regardless, it has come to a close. However, what many didn’t expect was the outcome. The shocking nature of these results was made evident in the New York Times’ 2016 Election Forecast, in which they said Hillary Clinton had an 85% chance of winning.

Regardless, it is clear that Donald Trump managed to secure the President-elect title. The race, with regards to popular vote, was very close. However, this was not what allowed Trump his victory. Without the Electoral College system, Clinton would have succeeded at becoming the first female president.

The Electoral College consists of 538 people known as electors. Each elector is assigned a certain amount of points (some more than others, and vice-versa). Electors will typically vote based on the popular vote within their particular state. For example, because Trump gained the popular vote specifically within the state of Florida, the Floridian m
embers of the Electoral College voted Trump. Whichever candidate gains 270 electoral votes secures the position of President-elect.

While extremely rare, this system has the potential to allow for a candidate, without receiving the overall popular vote of the nation, to possibly still become president. This race was one of those rare instances. Over the years, this dilemma has led many to question whether the Electoral College should remain as an institution. Some argue that the national popular vote should determine who becomes president. This argument has become increasingly more prevalent in the days since Trump’s electoral victory.

Trump was clearly able te this system to his advantage during the election. He gained the electoral vote in many essential states. These include Florida (29 electoral votes), Texas (38 electoral votes), and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes). Clinton did gain some strong states herself (exemplified by California, with 55 electoral votes). However, Trump was able to continue on to secure his 270 with the support he gained from these key states.

The Electoral College system is only one component in the overall conglomerate of factors that led to Trump’s victory. CNN’s Exit Poll data reveals some unexpected information that can provide some reasoning behind Trump’s victory.

One of Clinton’s largest efforts was to secure the female vote. While she did get the majority, 54%, this was a very close majority. Trump still secured 42% of women. Another big push for Clinton was the minority vote, which she lost 21% of to Trump. While many expected the moderate vote to go mainly to Clinton, she only received 52%.

Evidently, many were shocked by the outcome of this election. However, there were factors in place, as made evident by both the Electoral College system, as well as additional exit poll data, that help explain Trump’s upset victory.