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Studying with Music

I have been meaning to be more active on the blog, but that is seemingly impossible with exams. In fact, it is hard to find time to do anything aside from studying. I do have many reviews coming up, but I have no intention of compromising their quality under these constraining circumstances. So for now, keep yourself preoccupied with the music I have been studying to.

When studying, listen to more subtle music rather than the flashy, “in-your-face” types. However, I would advise against simple music, for it often gets caught in an infinite torturous loop in your mind (as I had found with Meat Loaf’s Hang Cool Teddy Bear). Depth and delicacy are key characteristics. A good starting place is with the following:

Lunatic Soul

Lunatic Soul is an ambient progressive album which runs very well both in the foreground and the background. It is very toned down and easy to listen to, yet still beaming with talent. As a matter of fact, Lunatic Soul is the side project of the frontman of Riverside. Speaking of Riverside…

Riverside (Out of Myself)

Out of Myself, which was my favorite album last month, is an amazing, layered listen. It is very atmospheric in nature (not as much as Lunatic Soul), but still has flashy moments. All Riverside records are generally good to listen to while studying, although Out of Myself is most suitable in my opinion.

Tool (Lateralus)

Tool often combines both ambient sounds with instrumental complexity. Some may find the latter somewhat distracting during a study session, but I feel that Lateralus contains more than enough subtlety to assist exam cramming. Other Tool albums may or may not suffice for this cause.

Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here)

It is usually quite easy to study to Pink Floyd. They are generally easy on the ears, and tend to emphasize rhythm over melody. I would recommend avoiding the more artsy Pink Floyd albums, mainly The Wall; they seem to be overly stimulating for the mind. Wish You Were Here, on the other hand, is great to have in the background.

Opeth (Damnation)

Most listeners should avoid other Opeth albums while studying; the growling seems to cause too much mental interference. Personally, I find it easy to push to the background… but that’s just me. However, Opeth’s Damnation is excellent study music.

Guthrie Govan (Erotic Cakes)

Despite the name and album cover, Erotic Cakes is among the most classy albums to come out of the new millennium. The album is extremely mellow, having a consistent smooth jazz fusion feel throughout. Still, it is very dynamic, offering many different styles of music. It is intelligent and not overly flashy; effective while studying.

Buckethead (Population Override)

Population Override is the only Buckethead album I would advise studying to. The others are too flamboyant and avant-garde for a relaxed environment. This one, however, is basically a jazz-like jamming album which offers an ideal calmness for studying.

Wes Montgomery (The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery)

The final album on this list is well-summarized by the title. I have not heard any other Wes Montgomery albums, but this one is excellent in every way. It is very musically rich, but can also serve as an easy listen. Definitely have this playing in the background while you cram for your next test.

Shoot, this took much longer than I anticipated… Back to studying!

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