All students spend too much time late at night writing papers, finishing off lab reports, studying for exams, and procrastinating. Here are some albums that are optimal to listen to in those dire times. All the albums or artists listed are not filled with distracting vocals or overpowering guitars.
In no particular order:
AIR - Pocket Symphony has been a staple of my late night studying/paper writing sessions. Two french guys making ambient music.
Portishead - The masters of trip-hop. In fact that whole genre is perhaps the best thing ever when it comes to studying/writing. It usually doesn't feature alot of vocals, at least not overpowering vocals minimizing that distraction. It also contains enough constant rythm and beats to keep you awake, focused and motivated...but also not distracting.
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing. This album is pure brilliance, a masterpiece. Never gets old.
Broken Social Scene - Feel Good Lost. Different from their other albums as this one is almost exclusively instrumental. It definitely feels good to get lost in the music as you work.
Valley of the Giants - s/t. Similar to the Broken Social Scene album in its instrumental nature. Features Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene and Charles Spearin and other members of Do Make Say Think. Its like driving through the wild wild west in a wagon.
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92. Perhaps my favourite and most listened to album after 12am during the school year. There is just something about this album that makes late night homework not as bad as it could be.
Thom Yoke - The Eraser. I distinctively remember listening to this before I failed a calculus exam. Not sure what that means.