25 February 2009

BodyJam 48 First Impressions

I've been listening to the music and watching BJ48's video whenever I can and I'm gonna blog my first impressions of this release. I haven't fully learned the class, and I don't know how the member's response is gonna be, so this is a totally personal review.

I like the warmup music. The "Closer" remix is a little trance-style and it really pulls the participant's mind into the class to come. The isolations track is super fun with heaps of attitude, and it really doesn't feel like an isolation track at all!

Unfortunately I think it took a nosedive from there. The Reggaeton track fell flat for me. I can understand that certain members love simple tracks where there are only a few moves, but I couldn't even enjoy the music very much. Musically, the first minute of the track sounds like the last minute of the track. There is no build up to a satisfying climax, and it's 5 minutes long!

Thankfully the Krazy Salsa track rescued the class. I can foresee myself skipping Reggaeton and coming straight to this track in the future. The absolutely KRAZY music and simple moves ensure an easy pick-me-up track for any class. Plus I love the option of pairing members up for the salsa.

Ahhh... Jive, jive, jive. When I heard Jive was coming back to Jam I had such lofty dreams. Now, not to say it sucked but maybe it's because I had expected too much. Still, there's plenty of space for drama queens to shine and enough cardio to please those who couldn't care about the theatrics.

The class is brought to its peak with the totally inventive UF'Oh' House block. In terms of complexity I would rate it around release 45. The add-on process is a little convulated but regulars will not have much trouble. The music is pretty good, something unique within the confines of House, but nothing too memorable for me. Nothing can top Toca's Miracle from 46 as the final track, IMHO.

The groove down is another cheesy track that is short and simple. I'm very glad each release has brought so many diverse musical styles that would never have worked as a cardio track, thus keeping BodyJam right on top of its game.

On a related note, I noticed that this release has an overwhelming majority of tracks with male singers. As I know, each release needs to be balanced - equal number of female and male artists (this applies to all Les Mills programs). What tilted BJ48 to the male side? Was it because the entire Jive routine was classified as 'feminine' even though they are mainly sung by men? Hmm, interesting to ponder.

On an unrelated note, I am inspired by new presenter Phil Harrison from the UK. I'm making him a role model presenter for those of us who are tall and lean. I do hope to see him in future Jam releases!

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