Saturday, April 06, 2013

RPM 58: In Review

This review has been pretty slow in going up for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, I had a bit of a gap in teaching - about 4 months, no regular classes.  I won't go into the detail of why that is on here, but if you want to send me a message via Facebook or email, I'll happily tell you.  Secondly, the gyms that I was associated with/regularly covering/team teaching at were very late to launch the new release, so it was quite a long time before I got the chance firstly to teach at all, then to teach RPM 58 in particular.

But now I'm back in the saddle (literally) and can give a run down of how RPM 58 stacked up.

TRACK ONE - Good Time
TRACK TWO - Get It Started
TRACK THREE - Party Bounce
TRACK FOUR - Let It Roll
TRACK FIVE - Feel The Love
TRACK SIX - Can't Stop Me Now
TRACK SEVEN - Never Give Up
TRACK EIGHT - Hall Of Fame

Ahhhhh.  What a beautiful, happy, feel good time to start a class.  Warmup perfection, even with the cover.  I listened to the song originally and was like "... Man, what a good RPM warmup this would make."  By the time I suggested it to Sarah Ostergaard, her and Glen had already begun choreographing it!  Great minds?  I'll say that, hehe.  Only minor thing is that you don't find working resistance in there, although I note that there seems to be a trend to not 'find' working resistance anymore?  In both 57 and 58 there are no tracks that find working resistance - all well in good if you've got a regular set of members that have been doing RPM for years, but I'm in a situation currently where I'm teaching a newly licensed club with members that are completely new to RPM.  But that is minor.

TRACK TWO - PACE - Get It Started
The first time I heard this song I was like ".... eh?"  Shakira and I aren't exactly BFFs.  I can't say I get along with Pitbull either.  But when the beat kicked in which maps to the racing phases? Fantastic!  In my opinion, even though I'm not a fan of the song and never will be, this song rides awesomely.  It rides way better than it sounds.  I like it, it's a keeper, and members like it too.  There's loads of awesome little hooks into the lyrics that you can use to create an upbeat vibe and to motivate.

Will I say it's my favourite track 2 ever? No... We Found Love and Till The World Ends are more to my liking, but it's not about me.  Members love it, and the response from it has been good.

TRACK THREE - HILLS - Party Bounce
AWWWWW YEAH. AMAZEBALLS.  Best Track 3 since Ecuador.  Music, choreography, all awesome.  Love love love.  It's on the long side, but it's definitely not one of the longest tracks around, so it'll have a place in many mixes without causing an imbalance.

Not only does it use the innovation which was introduced in RPM 55 (holding onto resistance, recovery through cadence rather than through resistance release), it adds power training into the mix.  Power training has been used in RPM before, though I think the last time we would've seen it was in RPM 48, "It's Not Over".  Previous to that... RPM 39, "Blast The Speakers".  I can't recall a hill climb that uses it, and it's going to be wicked to combine this track 3 with a power training track 7 to really challenge participants differently.

It's not that I don't like Coldplay and Flo Rida, though I get the feeling that Track 4's of late have a tendency to alternate between these two artists.  Definitely every song that has been used, I like, and use.  However, I think it would be a good idea for LMI to shelve these two artists in Track 4 for a little while and see what else is out there.  I know that RPM 59's Track 4 is neither Coldplay nor Flo Rida (good), though I hope the trend continues for a little longer for the likes of RPM 60, 61, 62.

As for this track itself?  Good fun, I adore it.  Will continue to teach it for sure.  It's not a particularly long track 4, but it's still a good minute longer than Good Feeling - it sits around the median length for a mixed terrain track.

I fell in love with this track (I felt the love... ahem...) in the lead up to filming.  Adam Rigby and Sarah Ostergaard both used the original in their practice runs, and in at the filming itself.  Also, since I wasn't teaching for a little while, I was attending classes and in those classes, the original was used.

So, when my kit arrived, I nearly fell over when I heard the cover.  It took me a while to get over the shock from hearing that the vocalist was now female and a bit choral sounding (as opposed to the unique soulfulness of John Newman), but I can't say I'll ever love the track as much as I did before I got my kit.

Here's what I can say now.  It's a long track, but without being particularly innovative or adding anything new.  Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites was long whilst being a completely different sound.  The song is looped over itself twice and concatenated together to be almost 7 and a half minutes in length.  The song is very minimal in lyrics, so it will get repetitive very quickly.

I will be using it sparingly so it doesn't wear on the members.  I acknowledge why a track like this had to be used, since there has been a lot of dubstep in T5 at the moment.  If there's a weak spot in this release, in my opinion, this track is it.  I won't say it's a bad track, absolutely not.  Rather, it will date quickly - which is something I've said frequently of Track 3.

TRACK SIX - SPEED WORK - Can't Stop Me Now
Once again, the movement towards more driving track 6 tunes continues.  I'm so happy with this tune - Push the Tempo and Pressure are both amazing tracks, however, when you're dealing with a bunch of members completely new to RPM, they are both overwhelming and can be a lot to take in when you're still trying to understand what the hell 3/4 pace is.  This track is challenging, upbeat, and simple all in the one hit.  And!  It has the bonus of not being a 7 minute monster, so it's not on the long side.  It *feels* long, but it isn't.

In addition to being easy to 'get' for new participants, it's a challenge for existing members.  And that song is wicked awesome.  Likey like like.  Massive thumbs up from me.

Mountain Climbs have been getting awesome in the last few releases - Apollo Road, Greyhound, and now Never Give Up.  It's a mammoth track, clocking in as the longest mountain climb EVER (knocking Going Insane off its perch), but again, it doesn't feel long.  Instructors using this track in their playlist will need to be sure that they have a shorter track somewhere else in their playlist to balance out the length.

This track uses the power training which has been present in past track 7's, however, the past track 7's that have had the power training have all been very aggressive, powerful, in your face tracks.  This track musically has a different mood, which I think is fantastic.  A track doesn't need to sound aggressive and in your face to be effective.

It's a beautiful track, that packs a surprising punch.  I have to tailor my teaching to suit the music, and I like that challenge too.  Another winner.

Okay I normally haven't even mentioned the ride home and the stretch tracks in my release reviews, but the tracks in RPM 58 were that good that it has prompted me to do so.  This track is so beautiful and it's a nice short length - I haven't tended to use the ride home tracks from The Script (apart from The Man Who Can't Be Moved) because of their length, but this one is perfect.

The best ride home tracks that members have responded to while I've been instructing have been 'Hey Soul Sister' (RPM 48) and 'Paradise' (RPM 55).  Other than that, they've been a little hole of Nothing Memorable.  I love seeing members singing along to this, or closing their eyes and just enjoying it.  It's a lovely lovely song.

I reckon Sarah Ostergaard is responsible for this one, and it's a good one.  This song is so appropriate for RPM and for life in general.  Not only can you coach the stretches in this one, but you can generate some conversation, share stories, educate your participants about the program just by using the lyrics.  Beautiful song, beautiful message, and a beautiful way to end a class.

I'm going to make the call - this is one of the best releases that we've had for a while.  I would say that in general, releases have been getting stronger, via a certain few tracks.

For example:

  • RPM 56 & 57 - via T5-7
  • RPM 55 - via T4-T7
  • RPM 54 - via T5
  • RPM 53 - via T4
  • RPM 52 - T2, T6
  • RPM 51 - T4, T7
RPM 58 is a game changer.  Across the board, different training, different feeling.  I will say that I personally believe that this is the best release top-to-bottom since RPM 44.  The only track that I will hold back using is T5 due to its repetitive nature and length, but everything else?  I'm going to have to fight the urge to not teach it.

The response from members has been phenomenal.  Both members who are new to RPM and members who have been doing RPM for years have all responded amazingly to this release.  I don't have enough words to generate the thanks appropriate to Sarah and Glen for this release.  Your amazingness is insane in the membrane.


Anonymous said...

who is the artist who sang Never give up?

Raina Singh said...

The artist for Never Give Up is ATB Feat. Ramona Nerra