AHH!!! Have you ever had something on your to do list for well over a month, and literally every time you had carved out a chunk of time to do it, something came up? That's been me and this review... I'm incredibly sorry it's taken so long, especially considering several of you have asked for it. Thanks for your patience.
Now, granted, it's been 2.5 months since we launched this release. This is both good and bad. As I've stated plenty of times before, my opinion on releases changes over time. My normal pattern is I usually am hesitant the first time I hear the new music, and then by launch I've determined which tracks are my favorites (or will be frequents on my playlist) and which I don't like. Then, by the time launch is over, I'm burned out of the whole thing and retire it for a month or so. Finally, a couple months later, I gradually start re-mixing stuff in. So, although my review won't be the same now as it would've been right after launch, I hope it's a more concrete "long term" opinion if you will.
I'm continuing my efforts to streamline reviewing, so please bare with me. This go-around I've decided to break it down track by track:
As I stated above, when I initially heard this warmup, I was hesitant. In fact, let me back up. I actually saw the tracklist before 76 was even released, so I knew well in advance this was coming. I had a really hard time picturing this song as a warmup. The normal version is kind of slow, and much more rock-ish. I'd also gotten a peek at the notes, so I knew there were lots of step touches. With that said, once I'd seen and heard it, I loved it! It's a good case of music-meets-movement. I thought the 16 repeaters (8 taps, 8 knees) was a nice variation, and I also really liked the different up-down vs down-ups of the step touches. It's a simple warmup with good variations, and a very welcoming song. I will definitely re-use it (and have).
Another super fun mixed impact... and it's not Party Rock!!! (Random side note: I am somewhat burned out on Party Rock and have retired it for a few...) I actually really like this track also. And I really like the transition from 1 to 2. It's refreshing to have a mixed impact that doesn't follow the standard curl/gallop combo (no gallops here). Heel digs are a favorite of mine, and I love the change in arms. The square pattern was the perfect add-on for rounds 2 and 3. The song is fantastic. Another fun, re-usable track.
OFF! THE! HOOK! This is, without a doubt, my new favorite aerobic track we've ever had (and 78's is pretty good too!). The song is so fun, the remix so uplifting. There are so many good chances for fitness magic. Words just can't describe it. This track is probably in my top 5 all-time favorite Attack tracks at this point. My favorite part choreographically is definitely the knee combo into Supermans (or is it Supermen? Hmm...) and jacks. I love this track so much.
Ok, I'm going to have a rough time with this one. My opinion of the track is quite honestly split right down the line. I love 50% of the music and 50% of the choreography. The strange thing is that the parts I love I LOVE and the parts I don't care for I REALLY don't care for. Do I think it works as a plyometric track? Absolutely. I really like the squat-lunge combo, but that's also the part of the music I hate. I don't know why psycho-circus music has been making random cameos in Attack, but I don't care for it. On the flipside, the verses of the song have a fantastic remix, and the beat really drives me... but I hate the never-ending skaters. If it had been me, I probably would've switched to single skaters for the "My-my-my-my" parts, just to break up the 3-step power runs that go on for days. So does it work? Yes. Is it perfect? No. Will I re-use? Yes.
Another great track. The song is so fantastic. "I'm a machine! I'm unstoppable! I want to tear it apart and rebuild it..." So many good chances for lyric connection, and great proportions of the different exercises. INSTRUCTORS: The buildup to the final set of single pushups is PERFECT for creating contrast using silence and building your voice back up. "Winners never quit, and quitters never win"... Steal that queue from the DVD! A great track... I've already re-used it several times.
You & I... This was the song I was most excited for when I saw the track list, but it's also one of the songs that I haven't been missing from the playlist. I think I need to teach it more well-scripted. There are fun opportunities here, but the repetition of the song forces you to create your own variety. After the second verse, the song really just keeps repeating "You & I" until the very end, and I think that kind of turns me off. One of my favorite moments was Lisa "with her high heels on" in the DVD. I stole it for launch (I was the one on my knees...)
I did not like the song when I first heard it. My initial thoughts were "I'm drunk in Egypt... got it." I've done a 180 since launch. I really like it, and it's pretty challenging as far as agility tracks go. I always love side taps (wish they'd come back in mixed impact!) and the different levels provides a nice challenge as well as a measuring tool for progress. I think a lot of people struggled with bouncing side to side and then front to back. I always struggle with the skate jumps. They seem overly jarring. Overall a nice job here.
Can I just say, especially after seeing 78, that I am SO GLAD interval tracks are headed back in the right direction? I still wish we would get an occasional classic well-known song, but 77 and 78 have both been fantastic (78 is probably my new favorite...). The choreography is simple, but I loved the 3rd round traveling knees with the punches, and knee pulls are always popular at my club. I like interval tracks that have an epic-sounding build.
UGH!!! This is definitely, DEFINITELY my least favorite track of the release. I know a lot of people hated the high knees, but that's not what my issue is. The star jumps are just absolutely insane when you are 6'6... I have so much further to jump out and less time to get there... I don't mind the high knee marathon so much. I will say that I do appreciate the variety, as this is unlike any power track we've seen before. But I just don't like it. It's a challenge track, but the song doesn't motivate me. It's been mixed out and hasn't been back since.
Everyone at my club loves the song, and that includes me. The second verse seems like hell on the legs... pulse squats, down and hold, then more pulses. I liked the corner variation on the lunges, but I feel like it should be shown as an option only for advanced members. Many of the people who take my classes struggled with it. The best feeling in the world is when you get to the final set of squats.
Another fantastic song, but man the bicycle crunches just kill me. Anything where you are supposed to simultaneously work upper and lower core always does, and I think a large part of that is, once again, my height and length.
I didn't particularly care for it. I know it's supposed to be a Kiwi song. The message is good, it's just not my personal style. I haven't used it and quite honestly, it will be a long time before I do.
Overall, I really like 77. I've re-used many of the songs since launch. It's solid, and very much my type musically (I really like 9 of the songs). It's much more uplifting and fun then 76, which was quite dark and club-ish. The word that comes to mind is happy.
78 launch is right around the corner, 79 autoship the same, and BODYATTACK 80 is actually filming in about 4 days. I was supposed to be there, but it fell through. Lisa has some fantastic stuff planned, I know that much. Anyone who happens to attend, PLEASE send me a message and let me know how it goes.
Guys, I know I've said this a ton, but please keep writing to me and let me know what you'd like to see here. Being a full time student, worker and having a family keeps me incredibly busy, but I always make time for BODYATTACK, and I would love to report on the things you enjoy learning about.