There’s nothing like finding that album that always sends you into a trance and makes you feel zen.
Now more than ever, it’s good to stay as relaxed and calm as possible and to be quiet.
Smooth Radio’s sister radio station Smooth Chill is the home of relaxing musicand we’ve selected the best relaxation albums of all time, for those times when you need an hour or two of absolute quiet.
Tips from Canada – Geogaddi
The second album from Scottish duo Boards of Canada, this release saw them move towards a darker style than their previous releases.
Member Michael Sandison may have described it as “a record for a kind of trial by fire, a twisting, claustrophobic journey that takes you through some pretty dark experiences before you get back to the outdoors”, but it takes us always to another place and time.
The xx – xx
A bit more on the indie spectrum of chill albums, but this band’s debut straddled enough different genres for us to include it.
The LP has such an ethereal quality to it, thanks in part to the effort the band put in during the recording process.
They would record the album the night after the label staff left, which singer Romy Croft said made it “isolated and quite scary”, while she and Oliver Sim recorded vocals at the same time so that they remain “in sync” and shared. same mental state or mood. It worked.
Aqualung – Aqualung
Singer-songwriter Matt Hales’ 2002 debut album proved his surprise single “Strange & Beautiful” wasn’t unique.
The independent piano album was surprisingly recorded entirely in her hallway.
Thievery Corporation – The Richest Man in Babylon
Producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton brought lounge music back to life in the electronic music era of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
They incorporated bossanova, reggae, and hip-hop sounds for their electro-acoustic style, and this was arguably their best release.
The 2002 album contains a mix of uplifting and melancholy tracks, featuring singers like Emiliana Torrini and Pam Bricker.
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
We could have chosen any Massive Attack album for this list, but we opted for the third release from the kings of trip-hop.
The inclusion of the iconic “Teardrop” is almost enough to get this high in the first place.
It was also impressive to create such a successful album considering the difficulties encountered. With growing tensions in the band, this nearly split the band at the time, as they disagreed on its musical direction from the start.
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Richard D James released for the first time Selected ambient works 85-92launching in passing the style “ambient techno”.
The follow-up was even more abstract and rather creepy at times (as you’d expect from Aphex Twin), each of its 24 tracks being untitled, but identified only by images in the artwork, like cliffs or grass. .
This helped to heighten the feeling of being lost as a listener, but that doesn’t stop the album from being an overall masterpiece of the chill genre.
Bent – Programmed to love
It was the debut album by Nottingham-based duo Bent, who were initially known for their playful use of sampling from their private record collections, an act they themselves called “sleazy”.
Bonus fact: This is one of Michael Caine’s favorite bands. True story.
Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports
If there is one person who can be called the king of ambient (apart from Erik Satie before him), it would be Brian Eno.
For several of his albums, the former Roxy Music man has turned to ambient music to craft a beautifully melodic new genre of LP. For this album, he tried to create a general mood in a way that no one had really done before.
The album is full of piano and synth melodies that move effortlessly through the tunes. It’s guaranteed to make every visit to the airport 2,000% more bearable.
Zero 7 – Simple Things
Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker’s debut album perfectly encapsulates the rising chillout genre of the early 2000s.
Featuring vocals from a then-unknown Sia alongside others, it was a downtempo album that took you to another sultry world. He was even nominated for the Mercury Prize at the time.
Royksopp – Melody AM
It was the debut album by Norwegian duo Royksopp, and it instantly cemented them as one of the defining bands of the downtempo genre of the early 2000s.
Songs (and hits) like ‘So Easy’, ‘Eple’, ‘Remind Me’ and ‘Poor Leno’ made this album a staple no matter what type of music you were playing at the time.
Zero 7 – The Garden
A little neglected compared to their first two albums, Zero 7 returned with an LP that took them in a new direction but didn’t lose their chillout roots.
Retain the likes of Sia and recruit folk singer Jose Gonzalez, The garden was a bit more upbeat in style, and it deserves another listen or three.
Moby – Play
This slow-burning album eventually sold over 12 million copies, making it the most successful electronic album of all time.
Moby’s fifth album is something of a masterpiece and only drops points on this list because it’s not primarily a relaxing LP.
But with titles like “Porcelain”, “Natural Blues” and “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” it cannot be ignored.
Zero 7 – When It Falls
Zero 7’s second album saw them do everything they did brilliantly in simple thingsbut even better.
The sultry voice of artists such as Mozez, Sia and Sophie Barker was back, but it was much more mature and less “Ibiza next morning” than its predecessor.
Jakatta – Visions
This DJ Dave Lee album is sorely overlooked compared to the other releases on this list, but it deserves a second coming.
Jakatta scored some hits in the early 2000s, including sampling Thomas Newman American dreamand the seal My vision.
For his one and only album using the Jakatta moniker, Lee created a soundscape of relaxing brilliance. If you can find it, you won’t be disappointed.
Air – Lunar Safari
Released in 1998, French band Air’s debut album essentially set the standard for all downtempo, chillout albums that have been released since.
With timeless tracks like ‘Sexy Boy’ and ‘All I Need’ it really is the chill model.
For all the greatest chillout tunes of all time, listen to Smooth Chill here. Music for Chill To, 24 hours a day.