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RPM 64 Music Review

rpm64-booklet

Part of my process of learning an RPM release is to listen to the music first before doing anything with the choreography. Considering the Les Mills program directors pick the music first and choreograph later, I’m trying to approach the release in the same way.

Disclaimers:

  1. Some of the tracks on the actual RPM release may be slightly different than the version released by the artist. For example, some are edited to make a track longer. Also there are times when Les Mills can’t obtain the licensing rights and use a cover artist instead.
  2. The YouTube links to the songs are not under my control; hopefully the links stay live.

Pack Ride

Just Say Yes – Snow Patrol

  • Genre: synthpop; electronica
  • Key: A major
  • Origin: Scotland
  • This song is a Core Back track in BODYFLOW 49
  • Feel: beautiful, energizing, shimmering, welcoming
  • Thoughts
    • Interesting to start the class with a slightly older song (from 2009)
    • Definitely one of those tracks to get people smiling at first as we start to ride
    • First drop is around 1:17 with a good buildup preceding it (likely the first sprint)
    • Instrumentation drops back around 3:20 (and on the edited-in reprise) which heightens the emotion of the track a bit
  • Good lyric cues
    • “There’s nothing holding you back”
    • “…feel your heartbeat through your shirt”
    • “It’s all I want…just say yes.”

Pace

Take Me Home – Cash Cash feat. Bebe Rexha

  • Genre: EDM; electronic rock
  • Key: G major
  • Origins:
    • Cash Cash is the featured artist for this release, and is from New Jersey
    • Bebe (Bleta) Rexha is Albanian-American from New York
  • Feel: blood-pumping, catchy, hypnotic, poptastic, synth-heavy
  • Thoughts
    • First drop at 1:13
    • Solid EDM hook for a 130-bpm sprint
    • Second and third choruses are lengthier than a typical Pace track
    • The build-up starting at 3:44 is perfect for a pre-sprint climb
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I need this”
    • “Highest highs and the lowest lows” — could be a cue for interval training
    • “You hurt me right but you do it nice”
    • “Round in circles, here we go”

Hills

Get Ready (Steve Aoki Extended) – 2 Unlimited

  • Genre: Eurodance; electro house
  • Key: F major; f minor
  • Origins:
    • Dutch rappers with Belgian producers; active since 1991
    • Steve Aoki is Japanese-American from Miami, Florida
  • Steve Aoki has been in some BODYJAM mixes
    • BODYJAM 68 (Mash It) – Turbulence (Original Mix)
    • BODYJAM 69 (fourth song of Alors on Danse) – Ladi Dadi (Tommy Trash Remix)
  • Feel: building, different, room-shaking, thundering
  • Thoughts
    • Sampled/remixed version of Get Ready for This
    • The pause 12 seconds in serves for some punctuation
    • First drop at 1:13
    • I could also imagine this song being in BODYJAM as well; it’s upbeat and a little aggressive
    • 2:50 sounds a little like the hook from Lala Song (Tocadisco Remix) from BODYJAM 53
    • In typical electrohouse style, the music is pretty repetitive; I may have to up my coaching in this track to compensate
    • 15-second ending – probably a final Standing Attack

Mixed Terrain

Hurricane – The Fray

  • Genre: pop rock
  • Key: C major
  • Origin: Denver, Colorado; active since 2002
  • Feel: driving, melodic, rough around the edges
  • Thoughts
    • First drop at 0:45
    • Short lyrical sections between choruses in the beginning, which should mean for fast transitions between work and recovery
    • The buildup for the last sprint (and in the reprise) sounds like it will be fun
    • The past three releases have had some kind of rock song for a Mixed Terrain track; this track reminds me of Supersoaker from RPM 62
    • This track has a bright tone that feels like we should ride fast; energetic but not too bubbly with some breathy vocals at times
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I’m gonna give you all that’s left of me”
    • “I hear the thunder; I wanna run”
    • “…into the hurricane”

Intervals

Alone Together (Krewella Remix) – Fall Out Boy

  • Genre: EDM; dance-pop
  • Key: d minor
  • Origins:
    • Fall Out Boy is from Chicago, Illinois; active since 2001
    • Krewella is also from Chicago
  • Other appearances
    • Fall Out Boy: RPM 61 (Mixed Terrain) – Death Valley
    • Krewella: BODYJAM 69 (Trap Jump) – Party Monster
  • Feel: contrasting, energetic, massive, syncopated
  • Thoughts
    • First drop at 1:09
    • Although the mix gets repetitive, the strong vocal styles mixed with the up-tempo rhythm and driving synths will likely make this an excellent intervals track
    • Several instances of longer builds before the chorus, meaning the attacks will likely be pretty heavy
  • Good lyric cues
    • “We can stay young forever”
    • “Feel my pulse beat 1000 times a minute”
    • “Can we start the countdown ’til the end?”

Speed Work

Face to Face (Rudee Mix) – ATB feat. Stanfour

  • Genre: EDM; house
  • Key: C major
  • Origins:
    • ATB (André Tanneberger) is a German DJ
    • Stanfour is a German rock band
    • Rudee (Josh Gallahan) is also German
  • ATB has been in a couple of other RPM releases
    • RPM 56 (Mountain Climb) – Apollo Road
    • RPM 58 (Mountain Climb) – Never Give Up (Club Mix)
  • Feel: dynamic, euphoric, lose yourself, transporting
  • Thoughts
    • Driving beat right from the outset — always a welcome sign for a Speed Work track
    • Vocals don’t come in until about 1:13, which means we probably get a long flush/recovery
    • Lots of the typical electronic music processing in this track (e.g., reverb, balanced instruments, effects) give it a feeling of being one of those “engineered for people to love” tracks, but I’ll buy it
    • The choice of synths, simple chord progressions, rapid arpeggios, and processed vocals make me want to ride fast
    • First drop at 2:26
    • Long phases (~75 seconds) which will be great for speed endurance given the fast tempo (129 bpm)
  • Good lyric cue
    • “Technology cannot replace face to face”

Mountain Climb

Black Velvet (DJ Gollum vs Jan Wayne Remix) – Gorgeous X Jan Wayne

  • Genre: hardstyle
  • Key: e minor
  • Origins:
    • Jan Wayne (Jan Christiansen) is a German DJ and producer
    • DJ Gollum is German
  • Jan Wayne has been in RPM and BODYPUMP (both having the same program director)
    • BODYPUMP 67 (Squats) – Piece of My Heart
    • RPM 51 (Mountain Climb) – Numb (Hands Up Club Mix)
    • RPM 53 (Mountain Climb) – Wherever You Will Go (Handz Up Club Mix)
    • RPM 54 (Hills) – Run to You (Hands Up Club Mix)
  • Feel: aggressive, heavy, quirky, retro, techno
  • Thoughts
    • A remix of Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
    • The track starts with about one minute of what I would expect from a German hardstyle song
    • The cover of Black Velvet done in a Europop style, then back to the hardstyle format with a faster tempo
    • This will likely be a suitable climbing track; I’m not really digging the Frankenstein of late-80s blues rock/Europop/hardstyle

Ride Home & Stretch

Peace – O.A.R.

  • Genre: indie rock
  • Key: A major
  • Origin: O.A.R. (Of a Revolution) is from Rockville, Maryland
  • O.A.R. was also in RPM 54 as a Ride Home track (Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes)
  • Feel: carefree, happy, lyrical, soulful
  • Thoughts
    • Light and cheery with just guitar and vocals at the beginning
    • Simple layered instrumentation that doesn’t crowd the vocals
    • 2:28 is probably where we hop off the bike for stretching
    • This may sound like so many other songs because it’s a four-chord song
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I don’t wanna fight no more”
    • “I just wanna see that smile”

Post-class

Rather Be – Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

  • Genre: synth pop
  • Key: a minor (or C major)
  • Origins:
    • Clean Bandit is a British group
    • Jess Glynne is a British singer-songwriter
  • This track is also the groovedown track for BODYJAM 70
  • Feel: bouncy, chart-topper, chill, fresh

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