No more George Winston, no more Enya, please.

I’ve been taking classes at my health club recently. Every class ends with about 5 minutes of “turn down the lights and stretch”. That is good.

But what is not good is that for every class, the “cool down” music is:

  1. tinkly new-age piano
  2. Enya

That music sucks.

So I turn to the Dope to suggest to me some music I can put on a CD and politely offer to the club manager as an alternative. A couple of rules:

  1. no piano music (i.e. George Winston)
  2. no understandable lyrics in English
  3. it has to be mellow.

Please help me.


One song that always mellows me out is by Poi Dog Pondering called “Angelika Suspended”.


Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack to “The Last Temptation of Christ” called “Passion”


Purdy much anything by Cocteau Twins

I confess that I really like Winston’s December CD and can listen to it over and over. Actually, it is in the CD player now, although I don’t have it turned on.

I guess you can’t please everyone.

One of the greatest songs ever recorded. You’re the only other person I’ve seen (outside of a Poi Dog concert) who’s heard of it.

The song is on two albums, one is the Poi Dog Pondering concert record Liquid White Light. The original (and superior) version is on an album called Vague Gropings in the Slip Stream by Palm Fabric Orchestra. (This was a one-album side project by most of Poi Dog).

Another suggestion: I like Morcheeba a lot, but it might not be “mellow” enough. And there are recognizable lyrics in English.

How about the Blade Runner soundtrack? (The Vangelis one, not the orchestral score.)

Dead Can Dance have a bunch of mellow songs with no lyrics or lyrics that aren’t in a real language.

Drag your class into the 21st century:

Nightmares on Wax: Smokers Delight
DJ Krush: Kakusei
**9 Lazy 9: ** Herb
**The Thievery Corporation: ** The Richest Man in Babylon
Sharpshooters: Twice As Nice
Koop: Waltz for Koop

more if you want em; listen to samples on

Sigur Rós
Samples here
Have a listen to “Svefn g englar” (no, I’ve no idea what it means - tho’ I do know “Ný Batterí” is Icelandic for “no batteries”)
Sadly the samples only seem to be 30secs long so they don’t give much of an idea

the review even mentions Enya so maybe you can sell the club manager on it! (tho’ personally I’m with the Granddad in Southpark who uses Enya to illustrate how unbearable his existence has become)

Also in the “should be pretentious cheesy crap - but somehow isn’t” aisle is Ulrich Schnauss
Samples here

Future Sound of London - Lifeforms
The Orb
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2

For my money, you can’t get much more mellow than Pachabel’s Canon. Just make sure to get a non-piano arrangement (it’s good on strings), and it meets your requirements. But then again, I’m a fan of Enya, too, so maybe my tastes won’t count too much for you.

There are several tracks from the movie sountrack to Traffic (mostly by Cliff Martinez) that I think are, well, terrific! Definitely mellow, but in a hypnotic rather than soporific way, and I find it drives off the annoying air of patchouli and incense quite nicely.

Brian Eno has plenty of ambient stuff that doesn’t suck, but I fear it might just be too abstract and mellow for what you’re looking for. There’s his classic Music for Airports.

I second the Sigur Ros suggestion.

Or how 'bout Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue. I can’t see too many objections to that, whereas the above suggestions have the possibility of being dismissed as “weird crap” by some.

On this same path, I highly recommend the new album by Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy, called “Immortal Memory”. The first four tracks are worth the price of the album alone.