Hit the books with these five albums

Let’s face it, studying is a bore. Nobody stops after studying for three hours and thinks to themselves “That was fun!”. Music makes time go by faster and to me makes studying a more enjoyable activity. According to the 1995 book Music and Learning by Chris Brewer, music can activate your physical, emotional, and mental drives which can enhance your understanding of learning material.

A good playlist to study to should include music containing non-intrusive vocals, a slow tempo, and an overall relaxing vibe. Here are five albums to study with that meet the criteria.

“channel ORANGE” By Frank OceanChannel-Orange-edited
To start the list is Frank Ocean’s critically acclaimed debut studio album that garnered him a grammy for best urban contemporary album. The record consist of jazz, neo-soul, and funk influences inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Ocean proves that he is more than just an R&B artist by pulling a more pop influence on the album. One noteworthy track is lead single “Thinkin Bout You”, which is an intimate love song about unrequited love over an atmospheric beat. “Sweet Life” is an even smoother ballad with a Stevie Wonder-esque piano beat behind it. “Super Rich Kids” includes lyrics from rapper Earl Sweatshirt and contains very dry humor. Overall the record is very mellow with lush vocals from Ocean that are occasionally powerful, but never disrupting.

“Lonerism” by Tame ImpalaLonerism
“Lonerism” is the sophomore album that put the band from Australia on the map. Kevin Parker is the brain behind the operations, as well as the lead singer. He writes the songs and records all the instruments on the record all while touring and performing with the rest of the band. The influences is a sort of a mashup of various psychedelic rock influences, particularly from the 60s and 70s from bands like Pink Floyd and Revolver era Beatles, but with a modern edge from the use of synthesizers. Standout tracks on the record include: “Elephant”, which consists of an addictive Black Sabbath like guitar riff over looping drum machines and synthesizers, and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” a poppier song on the album with very melodic vocals from Parker. The record is ideal for studying in isolation, hence the title Lonerism.

“Classics” by RatatatRatatat-1
This album, from the rock-electronic duo stands out the most on this list due to the fact it is the only instrumental album. “Classics” makes use of a variety of sounds stemming from guitar, bass, and a bevy of synthesizers. Tracks that standout on the record include: singles “Wildcat” and “Loud Pipes,” while lacking a traditional song structure, but make up for it being a steady mix of guitars and synthesizers. This album is perfect not only for studying but also for jamming.

“Salad Days” by Mac DemarcoSalad_Days
“Salad Days” is the sophomore album
by Canadian singer-songwriter Mac Demarco. The lo-fi quality on the albumgives it an undeniable charm. The record consist of very chill and mellow guitar riffs, charmingly cheesy keyboard playing, and melodic songs from Demarco. Standout tracks from the album include: “Salad Days”, with an addictive melody that’s hard not to hum to, and “Chamber of Reflection”, one of the more synth heavy tracks on the record. This album is great for keeping you calm while you frustratingly cram for a test.

“Anything in Return” by Toro y MoiAnything-In-Return-1
To close off the list is “Anything in Return” by Toro y Moi. The album is just a smorgasbord of music styles ranging from neo-soul and R&B to hip-hop and electronic. The record bounces all over the place and none of the tracks sound too similar to each other. They each feature their own unique touches. Standout tracks on the album include: “So Many Details” with a touch of modern R&B and an atmospheric house beat, and “Say That” with a rhythmic trance style beat. The album has a certain ambience to it that makes it good for relaxing and studying for an important test.