Seeing as I had all of this damn revision a few weeks ago now, I think I should write something about the music that I listen to as I revise.
Firstly though, I’d like to point out that you HAVE to listen to music to revise, there is no other possible way. The music does not have to be distracting, it just has to be there, for motivation and so you don’t go insane with the sound of pen scratching away on paper!
You can’t listen to anything when you revise either, and the kind of music really has to match the kind of mood that you are in, otherwise you will just spend ages looking for the right song to play next and that would just waste time! For example, concerning the putting on of the wrong kind of music, you can hardly listen to the Borat Soundtrack or Esma Redzepova when you revise unless you are crazy!
So, the right kind of music… Personally I think that it is best to listen to complete albums rather than listening to to random or playlisted songs. The main reason for this is that with albums, if you’ve heard them more than once, you know what the next song is and thus puts your mind at rest from wondering and worrying about changing the track. The other advantage is that on most albums the songs will be of roughly the same genre and so not alternating between Frank Zappa, Rachmaninov and Kate Bush. It helps also to listen to concept albums in the right order, in that way they seem to make most sense!
I’ll try not to do too much of a list, so here goes:
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium I listened to this album loads when revising for my AS-levels last summer, this was for a few reasons. Firstly, it was fairly new then and seeing I like their music greatly and I was seeing them just after the exams I thought I should get to know the new album. Secondly, as its a double album, its a very very perfect length (at a spot over 2 hrs) to revise for. So you just put on the album, listen to it as you revise, and by the time its over, you’ve done 2 hours of revision. Voila! Just like that. I ended up listening to thia album a lot, especially when bored with other music, as I find it fairly hard to get bored with it. All in all its an amazing album…
Radiohead – The Bends The pre-OK Computer masterpiece. Although this album got nowhere near as much attention as OK Computer when released because well face it, Radiohead were not that big a band until 1997, it is still a very great album. Personally I think it is incredibly more chilled out than their other albums. Pablo Honey was a more raw indie rock almost, whilst OK Computer was heavier and Amnesiac and Kid A are fairly different altogether. It was down to songs like “Fake Plastic Trees”, “Bulletproof… I Wish I Was”, “(Nice Dream)” and “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” to make this a great relaxing album to listening to whilst doing work… Although this album does have some notably great rock songs like “The Bends” and I quite like “Black Star”, this is another very very good revision album if there ever is or was one!
Ocean Colour Scene – Songs For The Front Row Although this is technically a ‘best of…’ album, I had just got into this band and so wanted to hear their best songs without having to buy lots of cds. It is a great album as they have some really good songs, all definitely worth listening to. On hindsight, I really like “Mosely Shoals” one of their albums that has a considerable amount of its tracks on this ‘best of…’ cd. Anyway though, they’re really great.
Muse – Black Holes And Revelations This may have been released at roughly the same time as Stadium Arcadium, but it should not be overlooked. Why was that last sentence relevant btw? Its fairly short which I suppose is its worst quality, but other than that it is a great Muse album, which is considerably different than the other Muse albums in some respects. It sounds slightly more mainstream with the general beats etc. But its still Muse and they are still very great and not to be overlooked. Songs like “Assassin” have immense drum lines and make for solid work (hopefully!)
Sister Hazel – Absolutely, Chasing Daylight, Fortress, Lift, …Somewhere More Familiar Although these are mulitple albums (well noticed I must say), they work very well in shuffle, or just one after the other as all of the msuic is of a similar ballady rock/country style that is just generally appealing and fairly chilled. Great songs include “Truth Is” on “Absolutely”, “Everybody” on “Chasing Daylight” and “Strange Cup Of Tea” on “Fortress”. They are just fairly easy to listen to and if so inclined, one could even dance along!
Bob Dylan – Desire It may not be one of his most popular albums, but it sure is great. The opening song, “Hurricane” is very good, especially if you listen to the lyrics. Actually all of the songs are really good, I suggest that you get this album if you like Dylan, but also if you don’t like Dylan so much as it is very different to some of his other albums.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – By The Way Although I have already mentioned a Red Hot Chilis album, this one is also very good and is almost as chilled out. It too is long which may be good for revising so its worth a go. “Tear”, “Venice Queen” and “Don’t Forget Me” really stand out!
Radiohead – Hail To The Thief This is a fairly new (actually the most recent at the time of writing) Radiohead album and as a result it is fairly electronic in parts. But, unlike Kid A and Amnesiac (which are great albums too, just not as easily listenable), it is more toned down in the electronic side of things. As a result there are some really really great songs scattered throughout the album, especially “Scatterbrain”!
Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde This is one of my all time favourite albums, it is just sooo great and really gets you into Bob Dylan. It is remarkably easy to get into aswell, which differs slightly from some of his other works.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Ultimate Collection This is another ‘best of…’ album as I like to call them, but Creedence are a really fun band that I have really just found out about. Fogerty is a genius and as a result there are some amazing songs here…
Well it seems like I have gone through a few albums here, there are more of course, and I may be putting up a more comprehensive list next time I revise, but for now, these are just the basic essentials. Enjoy!