Some music helps me really get into a writing groove. Other music can make a great sex stellar, or stoke the fires for a scene. And once in a very long while, there'll be an album that has multiple uses. Thus, I'd like to present a list of such. You know. In the interests of furthering good, uh, writing.
Thievery Corporation - self titled: Dub at its finest. All you need to do is sit back (or lie back) and let the music work on you.
Sarah Fimm - Nexus: If goths had a chill-out lounge, this album would be appropriate. The soothing vocals are reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, but the overall effect is is less indie-rock and more ambient.
S.E.T.I. - The Geometry of Night : With its dark ambient sounds and scattered, distorted mumblings, this album could be the soundtrack for some amazing unreleased science-fiction film.
Sneaker Pimps - Becoming X: The soft, mysterious vocals of Kelli Ali make this one of the ultimate trip-hop albums of all time. It's a shame they didn't stay together after this.
Massive Attack -- Mezzanine: Tracks like "Teardrop" and "Angel" are practically canonical scenage tracks. Yet somehow this album always comes off as less contrived and more organic than something like Enigma's MCMXC a.D.
Peaches - I Feel Cream: Peaches rules. She's not afraid use any lyric, no matter how obvious or clichéd, to just tell it like it is. And the way it is is dirty disco. Oh yeah.
Bush - Deconstructed: This collection has the advantage of many of the hit songs being remixed along common lines. So once you've settled down to your chosen activity, the similarities in tempo and sound just keep you going. Also, because it's so mixed-up, that 90s grunge-rock vibe isn't as strong.
Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile (Right): Out of all the NIN albums (most of which I own) this one is probably best for writing and sex. There's enough variation to keep things interesting, but not so much that it throws you off your groove. Also, at this point in his career Trent Reznor had lost enough of his initial rage that the music played more of a role.
Drain STH - Freaks of Nature: An all-girl metal band from Sweden! What a recipe for awesome, particularly since the lyrics are so crisp and clear you can understand all every word about rock and sex, sin and salvation.
Depeche Mode - Playing the Angel: The granddaddies of mope have come back with such a great album for the new millennium that it makes you wonder why they ever recorded anything else. Also, in addition to laying down great beats, DM lyrics are always a propos.
And you folks? What music falls into the tender crevice at the centers of your Venn diagrams?