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Winter quarter finals are stressful.  It’s the dreadful blend of sharp, cold weather, little to no sleep and an out of whack schedule. Whether you’re knee-deep in research papers, preparing for a handful of exams or a cocktail of the two, this week is a breeding ground for stress.  My remedy?  Good ol’ neo-soul. These four mellow jams will meet you halfway and temporarily soothe your worries, clearing your mind and giving you a well-needed push to carry on.

 

1. “On & On” – Erykah Badu

Right off Badu’s 1997 debut album “Baduizm”, the lyrics of “On & On” are tightly threaded with beautiful imagery and social commentary.  Lines like “You rush into destruction ’cause you don’t have nothing left,” will allow your mind to wander, giving you a mental break from your work.  Paired with her soulful and jazzy tone, this track will envelop you completely.  Just sit back and listen.

 

 

 

 

 

2. “Gettin’ In the Way” – Jill Scott

Jill Scott is known for her power-packed lyrics and her smooth, alluring tone.  Her background in spoken-word poetry and acting easily seeps through in this song about her significant other’s past lover bitterly meddling with their relationship.  With just the right amount of drama and allure, this is the type of track to have you guiltlessly rocking back and forth and humming along without even realizing it.

 

 

 

 

3. “Soul Sista” – Bilal

Bilal is an independent artist who’s well-known in the music industry and his discography extends far beyond just R&B and neo-soul.  “Soul Sista” truly shows off his expansive vocal ability.  The sensual and seamless delivery of his lyrics pay tribute to a beloved female companion or lover.  Regardless of your gender, Bilal’s silky voice has just the right amount of rasp to ease your mind into relaxation.

 

 

 

 

4. “Smooth Operator” – Sade

You’ve probably never heard a voice as haunting or captivating as Sade Adu’s.  “Smooth Operator” is a classic 1984 hit by the singer/songwriter about a charming man with a dangerous, player-like flow.  But no man’s smoothness can compare to Sade’s velvety, enticing tone paired with a hypnotizing, jazzy melody.  This song will easily relieve any lurking finals week woes.

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