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The Albums You NEED To Listen To While You Study

The prelude to any exam can be incredibly stressful and both physically and mentally taxing for any student. The revising period that leads up to the dreaded day can so often be the split between a success and a failure in the exam hall, so ensuring that you have the right set up around you can prove to make all the difference.

And while most students will agree that music, whether it be for background noise or something to truly hone your mind, is a staple part of their revising set up, finding the right blend of chilled ambience and engaging writing can also be a struggle. Below is a list of some of the best soundtracks out in the market for getting your stuff done.

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#1 Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


Featuring one of the best chillout songs in 'Jesus, etc' and receiving widespread acclaim ever since its release in 2002, Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of the best examples of how to Indie Rock correctly. With the soothing vocals, light drumming and soft guitar tones, the entire album is just perfect to switch off and unwind to. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has consistently been put in list after list for the best albums in the last twenty years, being praised by companies such as Rolling Stone Magazine and Billboard for its original sound and excellent deliverance.

Find out more or buy this album here:

#2 Death Cab for Cutie – Plans

Plans is the fifth studio album released by the band Death Cab for Cutie and is arguably their best even to date. Featuring three singles in 'Soul Meets Body', 'Crooked Teeth' and 'I Will Follow You Into the Dark', Plans was the album that truly cemented Death Cab for Cutie as being a fantastic inclusion into all our soundtracks. Plans is a beautifully written progression for the band, perfect for any newcomers to their work whilst paying plenty of homage to anyone already familiar with them.

Find out more or buy this album here:

#3 Travis – The Invisible Band

The Invisible Band is the story of having well known songs but not being a well known band and is the third studio album by the Scottish group Travis. Filled with ambience and a certain tranquility, The Invisible Band has just enough of a kick to it that it will never just settle into the background but will keep you focused and engaged throughout its twelve songs. Featuring critically praised songs such as 'Side' or 'Follow the Light' as well as some of the more classic hits such as 'Sing' or 'Flowers in the Window', there is a blend to this album that makes it stand out as the band's best.

Find out more or buy this album here:

#4 Jason Mraz – We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.

With the hit single 'I'm Yours', Jason Mraz cemented himself as one of the most listened to artists out on the market almost overnight. It's catchy, easy to listen to tune and quaint lyrics make it an instantly recognizable song to almost anyone across the world. But We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things is much more than just the one song; it is a collection of Mraz's very best musical and lyric writing produced seamlessly into a chilled out series of jams that anyone can unwind to.

Find out more or buy this album here:

#5 Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams

The mastermind behind the music in the loveable film 'Curious George', Jack Johnson's unique style makes him one of the best artists to turn to when looking for an unwind session, with In Between Dreams being the very best of picks. Featuring hits such as 'Banana Pancakes', 'Better Together' and 'Sitting, Waiting, Wishing', Johnson's self-written album ticks all the boxes in terms of a soundtrack that soothes and relaxes, whilst simultaneously putting you in a great mood. In terms of an album that drifts you away, there are very few artists who can deliver quite like Johnson.

Find out more or buy this album here:

#6 Menahem Pressler – Works by Debussy · Fauré · Ravel

There's an awful lot of classical music being played in the dorms beneath the radar. Soothing piano music is sometimes the best choice while cramming, and living legend Menahem Pressler delivers just what you need.

Of the many recordings of Debussy's masterpiece CLAIR DE LUNE, for example, his is in my view the best. The newly released album by 95-year-old Pressler is simply unforgettable, topping all other piano recordings and orchestral arrangements of Debussy.

Pressler's interpretation of Fauré and Ravel are equally good. He's particularly good at bringing out the sentimentality, almost other-worldliness of the music, heightening the feelings evoked. He simply plays the music as it was meant to be played.

The album is "Works by Debussy · Fauré · Ravel" put out by available from or

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Written by James Metcalfe

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