So here’s this theory that I have. Studying is all about concentration. Music provides the flow and rhythm to maintain that concentration. Ultimately, you still want to be studying over music, not studying with the music. Music will not overlap your studying flow. What we look for is a convergence, states where the music doesn’t engulf your thoughts; it sluices through and empowers them. We’re looking for augmentation, for enhancement.
Some of you would probably have designated studying songs already. It matters not. Editor’s Choice continues the tradition of introducing the unorthodox and rogue. Why? Because you never know if something’s gonna work out better until you try.
As promised, here’s list number two…
#1. Jungle Boogie – Kool & the Gang – Wild and Peaceful
For those who need some pep in your step, this fine, law–abiding, upstanding example of funk may be for you. You might not know what ‘funk’ actually is, but just know that with funk, you won’t flunk.
Preceding the rise of rap music, funk could very well be ‘Gentlemen’s Rap,’ as unlike most rap music, you actually want to sing along to the lyrics. Silky smooth and way more chill, Jungle Boogie makes your sense of boredom and monotony pay as it creates feelings of total command and purpose. Though the lyrics are somewhat ambiguous, the raw power of the slamming cymbals, roaring trumpets and infectious beat compliments it perfectly by making virtually every situation ahead seem easier to tackle - everytime. Anytime you need a great pick up for that exam tomorrow, that teetering stack of notes, or just for the road, its time to lay on the boogie.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a main theme in Quentin Tarentino’s Pulp Fiction too. Yet another conversation opener! Nope, no need to thank us for the introduction. Some things in life, like good music, are meant to be shared.
Recommended for: Everyone. Except dancers because you guys will probably end up dancing.
#2. Titanium – David Guetta ft. Sia – Nothing but the Beat
Though David Guetta probably only sang 1% of the entire song (through a faint hum somewhere) the song’s catchiness cannot be understated. Nor can its effect on revision and work. When it comes to learning things, we often need practice. What is practice? It’s simply learning through repetition and self-criticism. Hands down, we have never heard a more lyrically repetitious song being ricocheted on the airwaves. After firing away its main cannon of a chorus again and again we start to believe that we are indeed bulletproof, we are invincible and voila – we are made of titanium.
The key here is inspiration. While people are often inspired by powerful words, repetition and drilling can do the trick as well. This is therefore the most directly subliminal (does that even make sense?) example of recent music we have. Therapeutically, such a song could do wonders for most by establishing a baseline of invincibility within yourself. After all, confidence is indeed half the battle won!
Recommended for: Hard workers (a bulletproof vest won’t win you the war), people who haven’t been scoring well and have been (very falsely) led to believe that they’re not that smart.
#3. Zero G – Dead Space Trilogy – Jason Graves
Ambience is a great way to focus the mind. So is fear and desperation. In the Dead Space trilogy, all three of these converge – and nowhere is this more pronounced than in its soundtrack. Present and played in all three games, Zero-G is perhaps the most iconic and insidious, depicting one being lost and tumbling through the void of space.
An overhanging nibble of dread clouds the head of the listener through incessant, repetitious playing of the strings, accompanied by a slow thrum of percussions, mimicking the rise and fall of one’s breath - a breath that slowly extinguishes and dies out with the depleting oxygen supply. This sharply parallels most of our mugging situations, where time is trickling away. The recurring echoes create pensive, hollow tones, allusions to the abyssal existence we face should we fail…
All in all it’s a really motivational soundtrack.
Recommended for: Ambience Lovers, Great Visualizers, People who need serious silent, oppressive motivation.
#4. Badgers and other Songs – Mr Weebl
Something is wrong with the video artist Mr. Weebl, yet something is also amazingly right. It really depends on how you view the songs of his, in the sense that right things should be left right to speculation to determine how right they rightfully are. Rightfully we’re shouldn’t try to right anything by inserting right as a right word right between any right place where it rightfully goes. That would put us right back where we don’t want to be.
Ok sorry. I know I’ve just confused you, but this is exactly what the artist and many of his videos leave you. In one sense it could gratify your learning experience by propping you right up, reminding you that as dumb as you think you are, you can never be as dumb the situations depicted in these videos.
Furthermore, there’s nothing that can help you take a break from all that logical, academic and monotonous thinking better than a soundtrack that seizes your mind, empties it, and forces a hard reset while implanting you with images of rainbows and cartoon animals.
But phreaps taht’s waht Mr. Weebl watns you to tnhik, wtih the poewrs of orvcefoindcene and hrubis all that’s lfet in you, you’re rihgt whree he watns you. Suficfe to say we are cplmoetley cnofsued and bmaobolzed by everything he has psteod onilne.
And we like it.
Recommended for: People with strong grips on reality, Debaters.
#5. Talk – Coldplay – X&Y
This is, hands down, one of the best studying songs we’ve ever used. An older track from Coldplay, Talk puts into song everything we ever wanted when doing quiet revision- a smooth and lifting track, an unforgettable but light chorus, and most importantly, lyrics that speak to the soul. No matter how many friends are present when you study, the act is itself always something personal. When the going gets tough and hardship comes, only family, those who have nothing to gain from your plight, can give you true comfort. And that’s when this song truly shines – its ability to connect to your situation and drive you through the face of adversity.
Interestingly enough, another version of ‘Talk’ was scored by Coldplay that uncannily mirrors the persona in the album version, answering his questions and giving him the comfort he sorely needs. Between both tracks, a hidden dialogue can be parsed and enjoyed. Sometimes all the comfort we need from life is to be understood. Coldplay gives us that rare, gratifying option in this old but invigorating track.
Recommended for: Students who need someone to relate to. The song is a good substitute.
Next: We tackle the most relaxing obscure instrumental pieces, and the growing and saddening cliché-ness of Yiruma in casual piano today.