Fitness Forever are an Italian indie pop band who write joyfully infectious tunes about personal fitness and Burt Bacharach. Glockenspiels, vibraclaps, spacy synths, and saccharine string arrangements figure big in their music. Naturally, this will not appeal to everyone, but for fans of über-cute, hyper-sweet, kitsch-tastic indie pop bands (La Casa Azul, the Bicycles, Serpentina), it really doesn't get much better than this.
Written, produced, and arranged by Carlos Valderrama (Valderrama 5), Personal Train is Fitness Forever's first album, and it serves as a thorough introduction to the band's sheer range.
Personal Train sways from style to style, but it never sounds disparate. Like Harpers Bizarre, Sergio Mendes, and Burt Bacharach, Fitness Forever are pop chameleons, dipping into a little psych pop here, pausing to indulge in a little lounge music there, then veering off all of a sudden into space disco -- all the while sounding utterly like themselves. On "Quando Ho Tempo," Fitness Forever sound breezily cinematic, a kind of autumnal Harpers Bizarre-meets-Michel Legrand deal.
On tracks like "Monica" and "Probabilmente," they sound outright bubblegummy, all tambourines and jangly guitars.
And "Se Come Te" and "D'Estate" are straight-up disco tracks, lush with spaced-out synth effects, ultra-smooth strings, and kooky orchestral flourishes. It's an ambitious album, but it's pulled off effortlessly -- this is a really fun listen, refreshing in a giddy kind of way. Couple this with Luis Calvo's retrolicious album design (featuring photographs of the band engaging in various track and field-type activities) and you get one of the most impressive indie pop debuts of 2009.
|Intro / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||0:22|
|Probabilmente / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||2:57|
|L' L'Anarchica Pugliese / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||3:23|
|Vacanze a Settembre / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||4:21|
|Albertone / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||2:40|
|Se Come Te / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||3:07|
|Je Je Jeox / Fabrizio Romagnoli / Luigi Scialdone||Fitness Forever||1:05|
|Quando Ho Tempo / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||1:55|
|Monica / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||2:33|
|Bacharach / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||2:44|
|Outro / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||0:48|
|D'Estate / Carlos Valderrama||Fitness Forever||4:11|