I figure I should probably do this column before finals week comes rumbling around the corner. You may already have your “study playlist” all set and it may work fine for you, but if you’d like a change of pace, I have listed below five songs that can assist in the sometimes frustrating studying process.
Before I really begin, I must admit that I have a bias towards Queen. It’s my favorite band by far and many of their songs make up my iTunes library (about 50 or so out of 600 total titles). With that being said, the live versions of “In the Lap of the Gods...Revisited” are likely their most underrated pieces and it’s has a soothing touch to it. Then again, who can listen to Freddie Mercury and not feel soothed? In addition, it has a sprawling arena rock anthem feel that keeps you motivated to study.
Ah yes, U2. Many associate U2 with Bono screaming, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!” at the end of their hit “Vertigo,” but many forget about their earlier work. “With or Without You”, recorded in 1987, features a killer bassline by Adam Clayton and a catchy synthesizer in the intro that puts your mind at ease. Any slow-paced U2 song, in fact, can really help if you want to stay focused. Be careful, though. The lullaby effect of this song can easily put you to sleep.
Right from the piano intro, I’m hooked. What makes this song the best Billy Joel study song candidate is that it never increases its tempo. Joel always likes to start his songs off slowly and then build up to a foot-stomping midway point and calm it down to close it out, but this song is consistent. I prefer the studio version rather than the live versions for studying because the crazed Billy Joel fans tend to be distracting to hear, but it’s your call here.
The title is intimidating, isn’t it? Have no fear though. This Italian song is one that helps maintain my focus because of the splendid melody and Battiato’s soft voice. Instead of yelling at the top of their lungs, like what many singers opt to do, Battiato keeps his voice at a peaceful volume while maintaining a constant rapid tempo. It’s safe to say you’d be adding more Italian songs to your library once you hear this one.
I don’t know what it is about “Roundabout” — whether it’s the fact that it’s nine minutes long and I don’t need to worry about changing songs too soon or the fact it has great keyboards — but it’s a great song to just leave on a loop if you know you’re going to have a difficult week coming up.
So you may notice that I am a fan of ‘70s and ‘80s music, but some students like more contemporary music as a part of their study routine. If you know of some helpful study songs, feel free to list them in the comment section below.