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The Best Albums To Put On While Studying

Getting focused all starts with a great soundtrack.

February 20, 2018
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If you're gearing up for the big test, it's important to have a good soundtrack to get you in the zone.

Here are some great songs to get your mind in the mood to retain lots of information in a short amount of time.

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

Regarded as one of the best jazz albums of all time, Kind of Blue is perfect to study to. The album, released in 1959, is quadruple platinum and ranked 12th on Rolling Stone’s 500 greatest albums of all time. Do yourself a favor and get familiar with this album if you haven’t already. Not only is this a great studying album, but if you are hosting a dinner party and want to class it up a bit, just put on this album on surround sound and watch everyone’s reaction.

Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

If jazz isn’t your thing, try studying to this album by Fleet Foxes. The boys from Seattle sound like they could of headlined Woodstock, and this album will send you back in time. Robin Pecknold’s voice is the definition of chill and everything they have come out with sounds so peaceful. Check out their 2008 EP Sun Giant as well.

Explosions In The Sky – The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

If lyrics distract you during studying, this album is just what you need. This is Explosions In The Sky’s best album and is purely instrumental, consisting of 3 guitars and drums. Noted for their live shows, I actually saw them at Lolla a few years back and it was nothing short of spectacular. They have also produced some movie soundtracks, including Friday Night Lights.

Daft Punk – Tron: Legacy

Speaking of movie soundtracks, the soundtrack to the 2010 Tron remake is scored by Daft Punk. Kind of hard to believe this is the only film score the French duo has ever produced. It lacks some punch that other Daft Punk records have which is why it’s the best one to study to. I hope for two things; that they will score another movie and that they will be headlining Lollapalooza next year. Let’s hope those things happen.

Dave Matthews Band – Crash

Dave’s music and relaxing go together like baseball and America. Not only is this a great album for a summer backyard bon fire, but also listening to this before a stressful test will keep you level headed. After a final you just want to know what you got on it, that feeling is horrible. Put this on again after the exam and before you know it, Dave will have you knowing everything is going to work out.

The Who – Live at Leeds

You normally wouldn’t pair classic rock and studying together, but 1970’s Live at Leeds is an exception. Many music critics cite this as the best live rock album ever made, and it’s the only live Who album made with their best known line-up of Daltrey, Townshend, Entwistle and Moon. The extended solos and their improvising makes the perfect background music for getting work done.

John Mayer – Continuum

This album has everything you are looking for; slick guitar riffs, meaningful lyrics, and most importantly one of the best Hendrix covers ever produced. This is the best album for light studying, because you’re most likely going to be humming along. If you have to cram in an hour, try out one of the more ambient albums on here.

Citizen Cope – The Clarence Greenwood Recordings

I have a secret, this album has some special powers. Every time I listen to it before a test, I always do better than when I don’t listen to it. Citizen Cope has had some big singles, like 2002’s “Let The Drummer Kick”, but this is his most cohesive album by far. If you have to cram, this album would be ideal to listen to. Listen to my favorite song off the album, “Penitentiary” below.

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

Extreme caution with this one, don’t listen to this if you have to cram for an Econ final. Put this on when you are looking over notes for your one blow off class for an hour. It will add an element of fun to studying and you might even get up and dance. I can’t even look at the album cover though; it gives me an instant headache.

Various Artists – Tunnel Chill Zone pt. 2

Like I said before, handling your emotions during finals week is half the battle. It’s easy to get wound up like a top with stress, but this compilation album will help you think clearly and organize your plan of attack. You can preview and purchase this album over at Amazon right here.

There you go, listen to a few of these albums and I promise they will help you get through finals week.