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RPM 67 Music Review

rpm-67-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. Track timings refer to the specific tracks I was given, which may not coincide with the official versions released by the artists.
  2. The YouTube links to the songs are not under my control; hopefully the links stay live.
  3. When mentioning other releases artists have been in, I’m referring to RPM and BODYJAM tracks that I have. Les Mills usually reuses songs in their other programs.

Pack Ride

I Lived – OneRepublic

  • Genre: pop rock
  • Key: A major
  • Origins: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Released: September 2014
  • OneRepublic has been in other recent RPM releases
    • RPM 60 (Mixed Terrain) – If I Lose Myself
    • RPM 62 (Warmup) – Counting Stars
  • Feel: beautiful, motivating, soulful
  • Thoughts
    • The lyrics are uplifting and encouraging, making for a great way to start the class
    • The repeat-point at the end of the song is about 1 minute long
    • I’ve enjoyed the other two OneRepublic tracks, and their style fits well with RPM
  • Good lyric cues
    • “The only way you know is give it all you have”
    • “I owned every second that this world could give”

Pace

Surrender – Cash Cash

  • Genre: EDM
  • Key: C# major
  • Origins: New Jersey
  • Released: September 2014
  • Cash Cash has been in some recent releases
    • RPM 64 (Pace) – Take Me Home
    • BODYJAM 70 (Mash It Block) – Dare You (Cash Cash Remix)
  • Feel: building, upbeat, lyrical
  • Thoughts
    • The first chorus is short, but it sounds like there’s a chance for an Aero-race during the last two longer sprints
    • Given the faster tempo, I’m not sure there will be any climbs; however, the music indicates there could be a climb before the first long sprint (second chorus)
    • The repeat-point at the end of the song is about 2 minutes long
    • I’m more fond of Take Me Home, but that’s a hard song to top
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I pushed and pulled…”
    • “Say you’ll stay…”

Hills

Bounce Attack (Back to the 90s) (RainDropz! Remix) – Brooklyn Bounce & Steve Modana

  • Genre: trance / eurodance
  • Key: c minor
  • Origins:
    • Brooklyn Bounce is a duo of German trance producers Matthias Menck and Dennis Bohn that got their start in the late 1990s
    • Steve Modana is a German house/electro/trance DJ
    • (I wasn’t able to locate much about the producer RainDropz!)
  • Released: August 2014
  • Steve Modana is new to RPM, but we’ve seen the others in back releases
    • RPM 51 (Mountain Climb) – Numb (Hands Up Club Mix)
    • RPM 58 (Hills) – Party Bounce (Club Mix) {Brooklyn Bounce}
    • RPM 66 (Hills) – Keep on Pushing 2K13 (RainDropz! Extended Mix)
    • BODYPUMP 78 (Back and Hamstrings) — Tonight Is the Night 2K10 (Extended Mix)
  • Feel: massive, old school, synth-heavy
  • Thoughts
    • This is one of my favorite tracks in this release; trance/eurodance has always been associated with heavy working tracks in Les Mills in my mind
    • A common hills pattern is Standing Climb / Power Climb / Standing Climb / Standing Attack. Usually the phases after the Power Climb occupy two musical phrases; in this track there are three phrases.
    • The repeat-point at the end of the song is about 1:45 long
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I, want, you, right, now…”
    • “Progressive attack!”

Mixed Terrain

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

  • Genre: indie pop
  • Key: C# major
  • Origins: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Released: September 2014
  • Walk the Moon wrote Anna Sun from RPM 57 (Mixed Terrain)
  • Feel: care free, fun, simple
  • Thoughts
    • During the instrumental parts, we have an opportunity for some over-gearing in the sprints
    • This up-tempo, carefree song with a catchy chorus should be a fun track
    • The repeat-point at the end of the song is over 2 minutes long
  • Good lyric cues
    • “I said, ‘You’re holdin’ back'”
    • “Don’t you dare look back, just keep your eyes on me”

Intervals

Changing – Apple of the Peace

  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Key: E-flat
  • Origins
    • This is a cover of Changing by Sigma feat. Paloma Faith
    • Sigma is an English drum and bass duo consisting of Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie
    • Paloma Faith (Paloma Faith Blomfield) is from London
  • Released: September 2014
  • All of these artists are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Feel: blood-pumping, energizing, room shaking
  • Thoughts
    • The first phase comes pretty quickly — about 30 seconds in — and lasts about 55 seconds
    • The second phase is 20 seconds longer than the first, so maybe we’ll have more Attack/Racing phases in that block
    • The repeat-point is about halfway through the track
  • Good lyric cues
    • “…trying to find something new.”
    • “Everything’s changing”

Speed Work

Alone (Extended Mix) – Cosmic Gate & Kristina Antuna

  • Genre: trance / progressive house
  • Key: E major
  • Origins:
    • Cosmic Gate is a German trance duo made up of Claus Terhoeven and Stefan Bossems
    • Kristina Antuna is a vocalist from Los Angeles
  • Released: November 2014
  • Each of these artists are new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Feel: electro, lose yourself, shimmering
  • Thoughts
    • The first sprint doesn’t seem to happen until about 2 minutes into the track, so maybe we have a climb to start
    • I like the heavy, driving synths for the “chorus” sections
    • There’s plenty of time before where we are likely sprinting, so I’m curious as to whether we recover or climb in between every sprint
    • The repeat-point leaves just over 2 minutes to the end of the track
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Slow down, can’t you feel this place here is holy ground?”

Mountain Climb

Lethal Industry (3Bird Remix) – Tiësto

  • Genre: electro house
  • Key: a minor
  • Tiësto (Tijs Michiel Verwest) is Dutch
  • Released: August 2014
  • Tiësto is no stranger to Les Mills
    • RPM 51 (Speed Work) – Break My Fall (Original Mix)
    • RPM 54 (Speed Work) – Just Be (Antillas Club Mix)
    • RPM 58 (Speed Work) – Can’t Stop Me (Tiësto Remix)
    • RPM 59 (Speed Work) – Pair of Dice (Original Mix)
    • RPM 62 (Mountain Climb) – Adagio for Strings (Blasterjaxx Remix)
    • BODYJAM 58 (Turbulence in Paris Block) – Only You (Ken Loi Remix)
    • BODYJAM 63 (Hardcore Screaming Block) – What Can We Do (A Deeper Love) (Extended Remix & Third Party Remix)
    • BODYJAM 61 (Work Hard, Play Hard, Dance Hard Block) – Work Hard, Play Hard (Original Mix)
    • BODYJAM 65 (Maximal Jam Crazy Block) – Sweet Nothing (Tiësto Remix)
    • BODYJAM 65 (Maximal Jam Crazy Block) – Maximal Crazy (Tiësto Remix)
    • BODYJAM 67 (Get Loose When the Beat Drops Block) – Get Loose (Tiësto Remix)
    • BODYJAM 70 (Mash It Block) – Dare You (Tiësto vs. Twoloud Remix)
    • BODYJAM 71 (Mash It Block) – E.T. (Tiësto Remix)
  • Feel: driving, massive, thumpy
  • Thoughts
    • Almost like the name of the track implies, this track has a gritty, industrial sound
    • The first break comes just after the 1-minute mark
    • There’s a long build up to the first beat drop, so I’m curious how the choreography will handle this (small gears, hill accelerations)
    • The second “chorus” has a syncopated feel, which helps give it some musical distinction from the first block
    • The track finishes with one minute of music after the last chorus, so that’s probably going to be a place for a massive physical challenge to end the class
  • Good lyric cues
    • “And the world isn’t ready for this!”

Ride Home / Stretch

Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) – The Vamps feat. Shawn Mendes

  • Genre: pop
  • Key: B major
  • Origins:
    • The Vamps is a British pop band
    • Shawn Mendes is Canadian
  • Released: October 2014
  • Each of these artists is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Feel: familiar, fun, poptastic
  • Thoughts
    • I’m old enough to remember the Simon and Garfunkel version of this song playing in my house (vinyl version, of course), so it’s weird hearing this electronic/polished version.
    • This bouncy version of a well-known tune makes for a happy way to end the class

Outro

Classic – The Knocks feat. Powers

  • Genre: nu-disco / funk
  • Key: G major
  • Origins:
    • The Knocks are a duo consisting of Ben Ruttner and James Patterson
    • Powers is an alternative pop duo from New York and Los Angeles
  • Released: August 2014
  • Each of these artists is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Feel: funky, groovalicious, stylish
  • Thoughts
    • BODYJAM 73 (this quarter’s release) has an entire bonus block with some old-school funk, so I wonder if this a theme for the quarter, or just a coincidence
    • I love the easy groove of this track — you can’t help but want to move your body or clap along.
    • My opinion is that these last tracks should have been reversed (i.e., I prefer this as a Ride Home / Stretch track)

Overall thoughts

Note: I don’t look at the masterclass or even read the sizzler before writing these notes. I have the track list, my music player, and a nice pair of headphones and listen to each track at least three times.

  • One pattern that popped up is that there are artists we’ve heard before in similar track positions:
    • Pack Ride – OneRepublic (62)
    • Pace – Cash Cash (64)
    • Hills – RainDropz! (66) and Brooklyn Bounce (58)
    • Mixed Terrain – Walk the Moon (57)
    • Mountain Climb – Tiësto (62)
  • I’m feeling really good about the music in this release. I’ve been previewing the Hills track just before classes this month, and the Intervals track just makes me feel like riding hard.

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