More often than ever before, people work on isolated tasks at their place of work independent of other employees. As such, finding the right music to listen to while at work can actually boost your productivity and improve your mood at the same time. So whether you’re installing a pharmacy point of sale at a drugstore, or you’re filing your company’s tax returns, a little jam-session can go a long way to bettering your performance. Fortunately, we’ve gone ahead and identified six albums/musical pieces across genres –– to help get you started building the ultimate work playlist.
Classical Music: Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5
If you’ve ever wanted to delve into classical music, but don’t typically enjoy what you were taught in music class, Shostakovich is a great composer to begin with. His fifth symphony is a masterclass of Soviet power –– that seeks to parody that very concept at the same time. It’s smart and moving and will likely gain prominence as it ages. Give this a listen if you’ve got a big project looming on the horizon –– or to help you wind down after a long day at the office.
Blues/R&B: Charles Bradley – Changes
One of the last of the great “soul men,” Charles Bradley’s finest hour came in his 2013 release, Changes. The album starts off with a stirring rendition of “God Bless America,” and really hits its stride during the titular song, Changes. Never has a Black Sabbath cover sounded so revolutionary.
Pop: ABBA – Solid Gold
One of Kurt Cobain’s favorite albums, ABBA’s greatest hits collection feels like a blueprint for how pop music would unfold over the next 40 years. All at once silly, funny, melodramatic, and undeniably groovy, it’s worth a listen to no matter what type of music you prefer.
Rock: Judas Priest – British Steel
Straddling the excessive arena-rock style of the 1970s and the progressive punk-inspired metal to come in the ‘80s, British Steel is a tour-de-force of a record. Consider it the perfect introduction for metal-shy music lovers. Plus, Priest’s frontman Rob Halford has the chops to bloor the doors off any song.
Alternative: Ween – The Mollusk
What do you get when you smash together prog-rock, show tunes, and a smattering of sea shanties? The Mollusk, that’s what. Weird and wacky throughout, it’s nevertheless hard not to love. A little something for everyone here.
Experimental/Electronic: Passion Pit – Gossamer
Speaking of weird, Passion Pit’s Gossamer, while commercially less of a splash than their debut album Manners, is all the same a joy of an album. Try listening to it without a smile on your face, we dare you. Pop this –– or any of the other five albums listed here –– on, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the work day flies by.
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