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Weekly Digest #91

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In this digest-


1. Article- Travel is Back!- Tips to help you along the way


2. Album Review: Harry’s House by Harry Styles


3. Happiness Quotient From Around The World


4. Did You Know?


5. Entertainment Quotient




-Cover Story-


Travel is back!- Handy tips for happy summer getaways

By: Abhimanyu Rao


The world is finally opening up, and while we must proceed cautiously, we can finally travel again! This means that the world that everyone was shut off from us is open again! However, in these two years, we have been in our homes for most of the time, and much has changed in these two years - so, here is a quick list of tips on making travel safe, healthy, happy and responsible.


1. Spray paints and pens to yourself, please!- One of the saddest sights I have seen anywhere in the world is little anecdotes from peoples’ lives scrawled onto walls of monuments. Sure, people want their eternal love to be splayed onto walls for others to see, but if you want to declare something, use paper!



Each time people wash walls down, they are scraping away not only such writing, but also little bits of history! The next time you want to write something on a famous wall, think about how you would feel if random people entered your house and wrote things on your walls.





2. Keep track of your belongings- This is a great help not only to the place you are visiting, but also for you! I am very absent minded, and am constantly forgetting where I kept things. Now, ordinarily, that’s relatively alright, because I manage to locate them sooner or later.


However, when I am not at home, this becomes a problem, because sooner or later needs to become sooner, or I’ll lose whatever I couldn’t find permanently, which is definitely not ideal. Also, this includes keeping track of your trash, because you must not, under any circumstances litter the area you are visiting.


3. Respect other cultures- Wherever you go, the culture is different. In fact, discovering and learning about other cultures is one of the most fun aspects of travelling. This means that we should be mindful of the culture wherever we go, and learn a little about the culture before we travel.


This is important, so that we don’t inadvertently do something to offend the people of that area. This ensures a few things. Firstly, we get a better and more enriching experience on our journey, instead of just going somewhere for the sake of checking off a box. Secondly, we ensure that we are doing as much as we can to minimise disturbance caused to locals!



4. Go with an open mind- This last point has so much importance in travel, that it may be the one true rule you cannot break. When you travel to somewhere new, some traditions, some foods, some drinks, they might all seem weird to you. Things like escargots (French style cooked snails) seem weird to you, but never close your mind off to anything, because you might end up loving whatever you try. Also, it is best to keep one’s feelings quiet in such times - don’t like something, don’t eat it; just don’t make a noise about it.


This also ties in to point 3, because, even if you don’t like doing/trying something, be polite. Remember that someone might find something that you do weird as well, and keep that in mind the next time you try something new!


I hope that these tips will help you on your next adventure. Remember, travel is the best way to trick yourself into learning a whole lot of things. With barely any work, you can learn as much as you would in a term of school, in barely a month! So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and go! PS Do not forget to follow Covid-appropriate protocols.

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Album Review: Harry’s House by Harry Styles

By: Agastya Rao


“Harry Styles' third album rises high with superb production, but the cliched lyrics hold it back. ”


Rating: 4/5


Album Cover Credit:- Pitchfork



Pop hitmaker and former One Direction member Harry Styles recently released his follow up LP to his Grammy winning album ‘Fine Line’. The album, titled ‘Harry’s House ‘ was produced mainly by Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson.


Kid Harpoon was the Producer and Writer for Shawn Mendes’ last album ‘Wonder’, and previously worked with Harry Styles on his last two albums including his hit song ‘Watermelon Sugar’.


Tyler Johnson wrote and produced a majority of Harry Styles’ last two LPs, and received a Grammy nomination for his work on Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘X’.


Does this album live up to its predecessor ‘Fine Line’?


1. Music for a Sushi Restaurant-


The track starts off with an acoustic guitar lightly strumming, and moves on to a full on 70’s pop banger! This track was expertly produced and has a great use of drums and trumpets that shine through the track, and a melodic ba-ba-ba and scatting adds a great melodic quality to the song. While the lyrics may not be the most creative, the song definitely makes for a great listen and a great start to the album. (8/10)


2. Late night talking- (Top Track)


The second single from the album, and one of my favourite tracks from this album. Another 70’s themed pop banger, this was originally teased during Styles’ performance at music festival Coachella.


This track is where Harry’s voice shines, and that combined with expert production plus the great use of a synthesiser (played by Kid Harpoon) adds magic to the song. Harry Styles sings this song about his love for his partner, with lyrics alluding to his rumoured girlfriend, actress and director Olivia Wilde. One of the best tracks on this album. (10/10)


3. Grapejuice-


This track starts off with a harder tone of rock and a classic “one, two, three”. There are voice effects on Harry’s voice on this track, and the track is significantly slower than other songs on this LP, but the song has a great baseline and the electric guitar really adds to the track. He talks about escaping from the world with his partner in this song. The track is expertly produced, but the song could have done without the voice effects on Harry Styles's voice. (6/10)


4. As it was


The biggest track on this album, it has spent 7 weeks at the number 1 spot in the UK charts and is yet to be dethroned (it also spent 3 weeks at Number 1 in the US Charts); and is one of Harry’s biggest songs to date. The song starts off with a creative audio clip of Harry Styles' goddaughter who sent him a voicemail when he didn’t pick up the phone and says, “Come on Harry, we want to say goodnight to you”.


This voicemail was used creatively and is the highlight of the track, which blends in perfectly with the upbeat vibe of the song. This song also has 80s pop music vibes and broke Spotify’s single day streaming record with 21 million worldwide streams in a single day. With great use of a synthesiser and a classic drumbeat which fits well with the song, it is one of the highlights of the album. (9.5/10)


5. Daylight-


This track may be slow, but is up there as one of the best tracks on the album. A slower electric guitar combined with drums and a synthesiser make for a great song. Harry Styles uses the analogy of him being a bluebird so that he can fly to his partner. The lyrics are a little bit of a cliche, but Harry Styles' voice is the star of the show on this track. Once again, hats off to the producers of this track, because the production is amazing! (9/10)


6. Little Freak-


A slow kick drum starts the song off, which blends into melodic vocals from Harry Styles. The song is not a love song like the other ones on the album, but instead is reminiscent about a past romance. Slow, but with the melodic use of an acoustic guitar line through the song. Harry Styles’ vocals are commendable in the song. The song brings a slight change of pace to the album, but doesn’t stray too far away from the general theme of the album. (9/10)


7. Matilda


Another track that is slower than the songs on the album, the song mainly consists of a light acoustic guitar, with vocals overlaying them. Mr Styles sings to a person who was not treated well by her family and tells them that everything will be okay. Styles proves that he doesn’t need many instruments or heavy production to make a good song - just an acoustic guitar, piano and a light use of violin makes it another great song from the album. It is also the longest track on the album.


While the songwriting on the other tracks was slightly generic, this song is definitely a stand out for its great songwriting. (10/10)


8. Cinema


This track has John Mayer playing guitar, and the track has a slower and more RnB vibe to it. The lyrics seem monotonous, which is one let down for the song. Mayer’s guitar strumming is excellent and the production remains consistently good through the album, even on this song. However, the song seems a little bit experimental, and it's not my favourite track on the album. (6.5/10)


9. Daydreaming-


A much more upbeat track that starts off with more scatting, this track once again has Mayer on guitar, and one of the writers is the legend himself, Quincy Jones. The production of the track is good, and the trumpets shine through the track. However, the song is not the most memorable from the album, but is not a bad song either. (8/10)


10. Keep Driving-


This track begins with a drum machine, and starts in a familiar, if not cliched way. The song is another love song, but the production in this song is sadly a little off, the electric guitar doesn’t quite fit with the song, and the lyrics are not the best either. (6/10)


11. Satellite-


The song once again takes an RnB direction, and starts off slow but later picks up pace with the drums. In this case Harry Styles uses the analogy of being a satellite to his loved one. However, the lyrics keep repeating on this song too. The production is good, with some experimental voice effects, but by the outro of the song, the production too falters. (6/10)


12. Boyfriends-


The song begins with Harry Styles singing in reverse, saying Ooh, Fool you’re back at it again. The song talks about a boyfriend who mistreats his girlfriend. The song sticks to using an acoustic guitar throughout the song. The song is not as upbeat as the other ones on the album, but is a fairly good song. (8/10)


13. Love of my Life-


Harry Styles ends the album with a bang, returning to a pop-rock genre, with a synthesiser and an electric guitar. Harry’s vocals are once again the highlight of the song. The song does not use a variety of instruments, but the vocals combined with a light synth and an occasional drum machine make a great song. (8/10)


Pros and Cons:-


Pros-


1.The album had excellent production - kudos to Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson.


2.Harry’s vocals were great throughout all the tracks (except for the voice effects in track 3, “Grapejuice” which weren’t necessary). The choice of instruments matched well with his voice, and there were even songs like Matilda, where a simple acoustic guitar was all that was there, and the song was still incredible.


3. Creativity: Many tracks had creative intros, such as the voicemail used in “As it Was”. The creative intros were a nice touch to the album, and made it feel fresh.


Cons-


My main criticism of the album was that lyrics were quite cliched and basic in many tracks on the album. A little bit of work in the lyrics could boost the ingenuity of the songs and make them all the better to listen to.


There were a few experimental voice effects used. While they worked in some places, however in places like in track 3 “Grapejuice”, I felt that they weren’t required.


Conclusion-


With this album, Harry Styles has made further waves in his solo career. With an album which will no doubt be one of the most successful albums of 2022, he has clearly pulled further ahead than his former One Direction bandmates.


His past three albums have not had any musicians featured on the tracks, and for me it would be cool to see Harry Styles partner with a fellow singer on a track. Other than that, this album rounds out to be one of the best albums we have heard this year. It will definitely be a commercial success, and it deserves all the success it can get. A phenomenal album from Mr Styles.


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By: Agastya Rao



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By: Mihir Rao







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Entertainment quotient for the week:


Netflix

  • Boss Baby: Back in the Crib


AppleTv+


  • Prehistoric Planet

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