Chill out music or downtempo music affects us like no other music genre. It has been an inspiration to artists, musicians, and has been used in feature films. Chill out music creates a powerful atmosphere and take each listener on a unique journey. To praise this evocative music genre, I have create a top ten list of the best chill out songs of all time:
1. Zero 7 – “In the Waiting Line”
Most commonly remembered from the Garden State soundtrack, this lucidity inspiring, downtempo, trip-hoppy, electro groove keeps your attention until the end. Although vocals are not essential in chillout music, Sia’s airy melodies linger long after you’ve listened to this song.
2. Massive Attack -”Teardrop”
If you have ever seen the hit tv show House, you have been instantly captivated by the theme song. Massive Attack has been a long time pioneer in the downtempo genre, launching their first album Blue Lines in 1991. “Teardrop” has an alluring, soothing train track, deep droning base lines, and an ethereal vocal line that seems to glide over the top.
3. Freemasons – “Uninvited” (After Hours Mix)
Russell Small and James Wiltshire of England’s Freemasons are masters of instrumentation. Powerful bass lines, funky grooves and jazzy stabs are at the backbone of many of their chart topping tracks. Innovative as remixers as well, the Freesmasons took a crack at Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited” and created this masterpiece.
4. Ferry Corsten – “Holding On”
A smooth, melodic vocal line, powerful lyrics, waves upon waves of delayed stabs and ambient winds produce an unforgettable track that you can listen to over and over. Ferry Corsten is primarily known for his powerful club anthems, but this track proves that many artists have a “chill out” side waiting to come out.
5. York – “The Awakening”
Classified more as chillhouse than chillout, this track is a seamless fusion of mild ambiance and uptempo house. Every time I listen to this track I can’t tell if it makes me feel like lounging at the shore of a tropical beach or blasting at inhuman speeds down an abandoned highway.
6. Enigma – “Sadness (Part 1)”
Sadness may be an old one, but it still makes it to the top ten best chill out songs of all time. Dark, curiously ominous Gregorian chanting, eastern melodies and haunting french whispering make this song a seductive favorite.
7. Moby – “Porcelain”
Porcelain has been featured in over 10 feature films. Moby has eclectic musical taste, but this one hit a nerve with a great number of listeners the world over. It has inspired, relaxed, and motivated since its release in 2000 in Moby’s album “Play”.
8. Talvin Singh – “Traveller”
Talvin Singh is a student of music in all its forms and has traveled the globe, picking up tidbits of wisdom and musical insight from each corner. During his journeys, Talvin added to this rhythmic encyclopedia by infusing his studies with various percussion arts from all over the world. Even in this unassuming donwtempo favorite, Talvin himself is heard speaking to his tablas.
9. Seal – “Kiss From a Rose”
I’m not sure if this one classifies as chill out, but who doesn’t like Seal?! Backed by a full orchestra, Seal’s silky voice makes this a memorable ballad (And not just because it was featured on screen with the dark night).
10. The Doors – “Riders on the Storm” (Chillout Mix)
A downtempo classic re-enriched with a modern feel. There is no way you can listen to this song without bobbing your head to the smooth rhythm line and addicting drum syncopations. Its also a bonus that this song was written long before the internet even existed!
That’s it! The top 10 best chillout songs of all time! (In my opinion)