I’ve been a Beck fan since high school. I mean, really, with opening lines like “In the days of chimpanzees, I was a monkey” and some crazy wicked beats, he gets your attention. And over the years, his sound has changed and evolved, going from sampling to techno to hip hop to even slow, instrumental songs. I heart him.
Yes, Beck is a bit of a departure from our usual FitHits, as we typically find the biggest, guilty pleasure pop CD that we can, but, hey, it’s good to switch it up and give you guys some quality tunes, too. And while this CD probably won’t be your go-to album when you need a hard-core workout, Beck worked with Danger Mouse (who helped Gnarls Barkley put the cah-razy in “Crazy”), so it’s definitely got some good grooves to move to during your longer, less intense workouts. I particularly liked listening to the CD for my long Sunday runs where I have time to really listen and zone out from the world. It’s also good in the car, especially when the sun is shining.
The Track List: Beck, Modern Guilt
1. Orphans—Backed with the soft sublime voices of Cat Power, this song sets the tone for the entire CD. It’s a great warm-up song that makes you want to sway your body and hum.
2. Gamma Ray—The first released single off the album, this track has some of the best energy and irony of any of the songs. The song is about global warming, but in an upbeat make-you-wanna-move way. Like I said before, he’s talented.
3. Chemtrails—This is a slower song, but I really liked it during the middle of my long runs when I was fully immersed in the trail and the sound of my feet. The song talks, again, about global warming but in a sad, deep way that there’s no getting around. But, it’s still beautiful. I highly encourage running outside to this one, particularly in fresh air.
4. Modern Guilt—The title track, this song has a great beat that’s a little 1970s, only better and without platforms. It’s a great one to walk or run to at a moderate pace.
5. Youthless—This one has some funk and video game sounds to it that are really fun. Save this one for your workouts where you need to pick the pace up a bit. I found that when I was running to this one, I naturally picked my speed up without even noticing until I was out of breath. I guess you can say that it makes you feel, ahem, youthless.
6. Walls—Cat Power comes in again for this one. Meow. Despite the serious nature of the lyrics (very political: “You got warheads stacked in the kitchen. You treat distraction like it’s a religion”), it’s got a wicked beat. This one would be great to ponder while on the elliptical.
7. Replica—This was probably one of my least favorite on the CD when it comes to working out. It’s a pretty song, but pretty slow. While out running, I kept hitting next on my shuffle when I heard it, which is never a good sign.
8. Soul of a Man—One word for this one: attitude. This is a great one to pull out when your energy is waning, and you need a push. Soul of a Man will totally revive your swagger. While its beat isn’t fast enough for a full-out sprint, you should definitely pick up your tempo during it.
9. Profanity Prayers—Beck has this really great way of combining thought-provoking and challenging lyrics with beats that make you want to bob your head. This one is the perfect example of that. Just the sound puts me in a good mood, despite the fact that it’s a serious commentary on religion. This one is even good for lifting, although you might want to bop around too much…so maybe stick to cardio.
10. Volcano—This track is your cool down, which is perfect since it’s the last one on the album. It’s also one of my favorites on the album. Use this one to stretch or walk to after your sweat fest.
If you’re ready to take a respite from Brit or Madonna, check Modern Guilt out. It’s well worth the $9.99 on Amazon. —Jenn