I find that the soundtrack to the Netflix original film Bright makes an excellent workout album, with its driving beats and heavy hip-hop influence. I also makes me feel firmly planted in the zeitgeist, since it is not even a year old, and is replete with Millennial themes of building community and repairing the broken.
The film itself didn’t impress critics, instead sort of representing everything that Netflix, or streaming in general, is doing to ruin the film industry. Maybe it is just too weird to mash up the fantasy and buddy cop genres – A Game of Thrones meets End of Watch. It is undoubtedly a formulaic action movie, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was certainly better than The Cloverfield Paradox.
Thanksgiving week has come and gone and now it’s time to work off some of those calories. I’ve been listening to a lot of electronica in my workouts lately, but for today it was Born This Way by Lady Gaga, which I suppose is only straying from electronic music and not abandoning the genre altogether. Discogs calls the album synth-pop, but if sounds like rock and roll to me, especially my favorite track, You and I, which could have stepped out of a smoke-filled bar in 1979.
Lady Gaga is famous for her extravagant and absurd performance art, which you can get a taste of in the music video linked above, a postmodern train wreck of bizarre costumes and choreography that only barely connects to the meaning of the song. But if you close your eyes and just listen, you will hear a tightly composed, absolutely blistering rock anthem. I just think she is a very talented songwriter and singer.
Finally, here is some evidence that I am actually working out when I listen to these albums, and not making “fake posts” 🙂 Took the picture in the car so as not to violate fitness center etiquette.
For today’s workout, more electronic music, from a relatively obscure 90s band, Fluke. This older stuff is a staple for a Gen-Xer like me. Their 2003 album Puppy has a lot of driving, churning beats to keep me spinning that cycle. And it’s nice and long, too; I almost listened to it in its entirety during my routine.
If you listen to the album, you might recognize one track. That’s because you heard it before here:
My usual choice of music for a cardio workout is some EDM, or Electronic Dance Music – what we old-schoolers call Electronica. It’s kind of monotonous and repetitive, to match the very nature of cardio, but with gradual changes to keep you interested. The tempo changes from fast to slow and back so you can have bursts of intense activity followed by cooling down periods. I have my entire collection on a small device, which I can bring to the fitness center and keep tucked in a pocket while I work out.
Today’s choice for an album was Robot O Chan by Prometheus, which, if you follow the link, you will see is an alias for a solo artist. So, a general rule is that an EDM recording act is just a guy from England, or maybe two guys from England, or sometimes a guy from Finland. The music is all synthesized, so you don’t need a band or anything, though some EDM artists will record guest musicians playing a normal instrument and mix it in.
This is my favorite track from the album, one of my favorite EDM tracks of all time:
So you go to the fitness center to work out but you don’t want to listen to the music they play there. What to do? Well, easy, in this day and age. You bring your smartphone, some ear buds, and pull up your streaming music app.
This morning’s album was Audio Elastique by De-Phazz. At 53 minutes it’s the perfect length for one of my workouts, which generally is 15 minutes of strength training, half an hour of cardio, and some cooling down time. It has enough tempo changes to accompany the cardio well, and it has the most important quality for a workout album: I like the tracks enough to keep wanting to hear the next one, which gets me over the hump when I start the cardio and it quickly wears me down.
I’m no hotshot, just a middle-aged guy trying to keep his body from falling apart. But like Baby, I need my musical inspiration to stay on task.