Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Don't Judge Me By My Workout Playlist

image source: musicisart

My workout playlist is embarrassing. Britney, Kylie, The Veronicas, more Britney, there are even some Glee covers in there. The limited number of songs I’d publicly admit to listening to in front of cool people I’d like to impress are not enough to redeem it. It is full of trashy pop music that I would otherwise pretend I didn’t know the words to.

When I’m on the treadmill it’s a totally different story. If the beat is fast and the lyrics are shallow, I’m in sweaty cardio heaven. Christina and Nicki Minaj singing about their “Woohoo”s? Britney begging you to Hold it Against Her? The Veronicas trying to find a hook up? As long as the lyrics have little meaning beyond “I’m at a club looking hot and I’m trying to get into your pants” and a beat I can run on a cross trainer at 60-70 reps per minute at, it’s qualified. Artistic merit? Pish-tosh. Might get you a bonus point, but in this playlist, it is not a prerequisite.

Aren’t there plenty of actually great songs that would fit my requirements though? Yes there are, and a few of them are scattered throughout the playlist. Perhaps it’s the subliminal messaging telling me to buy Pepsi, or the sweet memories of singing along to “(Baby) Hit Me One More Time” or “(You Drive Me) Crazy” during my childhood, (or a love of songs with part of the title in brackets?) that drive me back to the superficial pop of Britney Spears when I’m in a mindless state of exercising. Or perhaps it’s the frequency that I hear them, despite not trying to, in clubs or shopping centres etc, that make them familiar and easy to find. Fun bouncy pop songs that are “acceptably left of mainstream” are a bit harder to find than, say, Christina or Britney’s new albums, you must admit.

When discussing meditation I’ve heard from a number of my friends that they find that their workouts are the closest thing that they can get to it. They can’t sit still trying not to think for 5 minutes, but when they’re pumping iron or burning up the calories on the rowing machine, their brain switches off for at least half an hour. Could this be why the tacky music I can’t stand the rest of the time is so perfect for gym time? Do I listen to music that doesn’t need too much brain power to comprehend because my brain has momentarily turned off its thinking capacity?

Never the less, am I not entitled to some mindless lyrically lazy pop tunes every so often? And if they help me to workout regularly shouldn’t that give them a little merit despite themselves? Sure, they might not be the cleverest songs ever written, but they keep me entertained and inspire me to jog at a constant upbeat pace for around three minutes each, and isn’t that really all I need from a song on a workout playlist?

Ell-Leigh’s Workout Playlist – April 2011
Talking Like I'm Falling Down Stairs {DDS Remix} - Sparkadia (this link is to the TripleJ free music podcast, it's in there to download for free!)
Love and Sex and Magic - Ciara Feat. Justin Timberlake

PS - A few days after posting this blog I was at a family gathering where my Uncle told my I was out of his will because I'd downloaded Britney Spears' new album. It's a good album, but I'm not sure it's worth that.

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