Roundtable: Albums that will help you destress

As the semester begins to wrap up and final exams and projects get assigned, college students near and far are going to get stressed out. To help calm things down, members of the Daily Campus Life section provide their favorite albums to unwind.

Dan Wood, Staff Writer

“Morning Phase” – Beck

Beck is best known for his alternative styles that have been a part of the indie music scene for the past few decades. Beck tends to mix electronic and synthetic instruments with talented acoustic instrument work and unique vocal styles to create high-energy hits. Clear examples of this are some of his biggest hits like “Loser,” “E-Pro,” “Wow” and “Timebomb.” “Morning Phase,” released in 2014, however, has a very different pace and arrangement than his usual work. It is a break up album that focuses on slower paced songs with soft, symphonic strings, gentle guitar and drums and just a little twist of synthetic effects. These aspects coupled with Beck’s friendly and raspy voice make for an album that is familiar and somehow still novel. These easygoing tracks are sure to take your mind away from any academic pressures you might be dealing with now that midterms are over and many of them might get stuck in your head.

Lucy Littlefield, Campus Correspondent

“An Awesome Wave” – alt-J’s

alt-J combines traditional indie, folk and rock styles, with the addition of experimental and innovative instrumentation and harmonies.  “An Awesome Wave,” is alt-J’s debut album and was released in 2012.  From start to finish, each track presents its own unique identity.  For example, “Taro,” brings together Middle Eastern styles, and successful use of some more dissonant harmonies almost never heard in today’s top 40 hits.  By contrast, the album also features subtler tracks such as the “Intro” and and “(Guitar),” which are solos featuring the piano and guitar, respectively.  Although the lyrics aren’t easily memorable, each track evokes an energy that will put both your mind and body at ease as midterms come to a close and summer comes more within reach.

Marlese Lessing, Staff Writer

“Tubular Bells II”  – Mike Oldfield

The album might be old-school, but it’s still a classic. If you have a preference for any particular musical sound, this one’s for you, because Oldfield ramps it up with variety. If it’s bagpipes you want, “Tattoo” will give you a calming, yet inspirational surge. Synth waves are a common theme throughout, and they’re especially prominent in “Sentinel” (which you may recognize from “The Exorcist”) and “Weightless,” which is especially calming. “The Great Plain” uses, weirdly enough, a mix of banjos and an almost Oriental feel with strains of Chinese flute. One of my personal favorites is “The Bell,” which ramps up the music at the command of a guy who sounds oddly like Alan Rickman. To round off the whole album is the oddly upbeat song “Moonshine,” which puts you in the mind of a square dance, and gets you in the summer mood. Overall, it’s a great album to study to and want some electronic music that isn’t Cash Cash or Mitis.

Matthew Gilbert, Staff Writer

“Unplugged” – Eric Clapton

This album has some age to it, having been released in 1992, but Eric Clapton is timeless. The songs on the album are all acoustic versions of songs from his past albums as a solo artist and with “Derek and the Dominos.” What makes this album a collection of de-stressing tunes revolves around the fact that all the songs are acoustic. The song “Layla” is traditionally known as being a fairly high tempo track, yet on “Unplugged” Clapton hones in on the buzz and twangy notes and chords as the tempo is slowed. In doing so the songs are presented in a manner that feels fresh and communicates a more intimate listening experience. Though de-stressing, there are some tracks like “Tears In Heaven” that when translated into the acoustic form showcased on the album, there stands a very high chance that the track will hit you right in the feels.


Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.wood@uconn.edu.

Lucille Littlefield is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lucille.littlefield@uconn.edu.

Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu. She tweets @marlese_lessing.

Matthew Gilbert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.gilbert@uconn.edu.