A Gamer's Definitive Guide to the Best Albums of 2023
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If you’re sitting down to play a game, you’re probably eager to have great fun. So it makes sense that you put on some music in the background to heighten the fun. It doesn’t matter what type of game you’re playing; with some on, distractions are blocked out so you can focus. Studies show music can reduce stress and fatigue as well. 

Frequent gamers understand just how powerful a tool music can be. With the right soundtrack, they can ease into the right mood, boosting their skills and making the gaming experience more immersive and enjoyable. 

While any kind of music might do, depending on your preference, certain genres specifically lend themselves to enhancing certain types of games. Upbeat electronic music, for example, can pump up the adrenaline in fast-paced multiplayer battle arenas, while ambient scores help you focus in strategy games. Rock and metal riffs might make you charged for action-packed shooting games, but mellower classic rock keeps you engaged but relaxed in longer roleplaying adventures.

Below, we shall look at some of the best albums of 2023 so far and what kinds of games they might go well with. 

For Video Poker Players: Everything Harmony by The Lemon Twigs

Are you about to start a video poker game and don’t know what music to listen to? You should consider this fantastic soft rock album by The Lemon Twigs. Everything Harmony is an homage to the best pop and rock songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s—and it was rated a whopping 5-star by the Guardian. 

The album's infectious songwriting and lush instrumentation give reviewers things to praise—and the tracks brim with a sweet longing that conjures a sense of nostalgia perfect for low-stakes gaming.

Gaming fans who usually play video poker for real money or just for fun, know very well that the popular casino game has a nature of randomness, so you don’t always need complete attention, making it well-suited for music backing. Everything Harmony provides a pleasing sonic palette of retro-tinged warmth ideal for semi-tuned-out play. The harmonic richness offers enough subtle depth to entertain you, while the emotional simplicity keeps you relaxed through winning and losing hands. 

Chess Players: Brand New Life by Brandee Younger

For a chess game, you need full concentration to make and follow through with your strategy. That’s perhaps why jazz music would be just perfect to have in the background. The energetic yet smooth rhythms promote alert relaxation that sharpens your decision-making abilities. 

We recommend American harpist Brandee Younger’s harp jazz album, Brand New Life. The album beautifully envelops listeners with classy lounge richness. The thing about harp jazz is that, unlike other jazz subgenres like bebop, it uses tranquil notes that bring to mind words like ‘poetic’ and ‘reflective.’

As the harpist herself says, creating the album was always a lifelong dream. You can get lost in this dream and let it help guide your thinking as you get immersed in your chess game.

Scrabble Players: The Handel Project by Seong-Jin Cho

You probably want intellectually stimulating music like classical music for a Scrabble game. The game requires you to think carefully and creatively to find the highest-scoring words. That’s why classical music, with its complex compositions that engage the brain, is just suitable for Scrabble. Also, since Scrabble is all about words, classical music’s lack of lyrics is a plus, as it prevents random words from jumbling your train of thought.

That said, we’d recommend South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho’s 2023 project, The Handel Project, for your Scrabble game.

Clash of the Titans Players: Black Rainbows by Corinne Bailey Rae

Go for a rock album when playing online battle arena games like Clash of the Titans. The feeling of adrenaline pumping through your body makes the entire gaming experience that much more exciting. 

Corinne Bailey Rae released an incredible rock album in 2023 titled “Black Rainbows”. It’s definitely one you should try the next time you sit down to game. 

Ms. Rae shattered expectations for an artist branded as a pop-soul stylist. Songs morph from playful to brooding at unexpected intervals.

Let the relentless, restless invention set the pace for your own spontaneity as you try to outmaneuver opponents.

Sudoku Players: Tension by Kylie Minogue

House music is often considered the ideal kind of music for a Sudoku game because the steady beat heightens your focus and concentration. 

So, you should try out Tension by Kylie Minogue, the Australian singer-songwriter's sixteenth studio album, released in September 2023. The album overflows with glittery disco abandon. Minogue provides a vibrant backdrop for you as you besiege those numerical grids.

Listening to music as you game can truly enhance the experience. We hope that you can put our guide to good use and listen to some of our recommendations the next time you lock in for a gaming session.