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The Kristin Diab Playlist: Dance Music As Physical Therapy

My niece Kristin Diab is somewhat deprecating in her remarks about the playlist she listens to while “cycling or cleaning the house…” before warning me to “be nice”. “I seem to be stuck in the 80s, early 90s” she insists. That doesn’t really seem accurate. IT isn’t about when but about what and this essentially dance music, it is music for movement, even the AC/DC song is a good great groove and anyway, of the 11 songs she chooses, five were recorded in the 80s, one in the seventies and five were recorded in the 2000s.

What’s really happening is Rihanna, Brittney Spears and Justin Timberlake settling next to bubblegum rap bass grooves by the likes of Young MC, Heady D and Naughty By Natures. All of this is first and foremost very useful move music: it is made for working out and it is equally made for physical strenuous activities like managing a household or taking care of two pre-teen kids and one post-teen husband. I love all of this stuff and her ears are immaculate, Spears’ cynical sneer at the media “Piece Of Me” is the best moment of two years worth of a career in its prime; Timberlake comes from his hugely successful second solo album and Rihanna (I wonder if Kristin has heard Rihanna on Jay-Z’s “Run This town”) “Shut Up And drive” is a better dance track than “Umbrella” -it moves on its belly and clamps down hard on the chorus: you can’t miss it!!!

None of this is particularly surprising given that Diab is a Physical Therapist and very attuned to body functionality: if what she is working is in rehabilitating the joints that keep us moving it is not a shocker she can hear the sounds that most aptly reflect the movement of our bodies. In song after a song she finds the groove and it has nothing to do with age (though it might have something to do with the amount of time she can spend on listening to new music).

It also may be why I admire her more middlebrow rock songs a little less than her hip hop tastes. Hinder are the definition of middlebrow rock and I find them a bit ordinary though many people I like like them and Phil Collins, while apparently a very likable guy, is a touch bland for my taste.

Which leaves me with…. musical theatre actress Carol Woods’ Gospel take on Macca’s “Let It Be” from the soundtrack of the movie Across The Universe. Ms. Woods got a standing o when she sang this at the Grammy’s and she absolutely finds the spiritual at the heart of this classic song. No, I have never liked “Let It Be”. That is till now. Which maybe because Carol Woods performs it so beautifully. Or maybe because I love my niece so much I love it because she loves it. Kristin, thanks so much for sharing with us your wonderful songs.

The Kristin Diab Playlist
Lips of an Angel- Hinder
shut up and drive- rihanna
summer love – justin timberlake
bust a move…young mc
now that we found love- heavy d and the boys
show me love…robin s
take me home- phil collins
OPP- naughty by nature
piece of me- britney
you shook me all night long- AC/DC
Let it Be–Carol woods

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