ALBUM REVIEW: Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt

It seems like everyone has it out for Gym Class Heroes. Since the release of 2004’s The Papercut Chronicles, GCH has often been on the receiving end of criticism from an extremely fickle fan-base. After the band released the more accessible As Cruel as School Children, the band became “too Hip-Hop” for Rock and “too Rock” for Hip-Hop. Two years later, after continuing to progress and diversify, the group has released its most diverse album to date, The Quilt. Front-man Travis McCoy has deemed this album his most lyrical effort, claiming that he is going to showcase his “lyrical genius.” It’s pretty much impossible to live up to such bold words and Travis is by no means the greatest emcee, but his verses on “Live Forever (Fly With Me)” and “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” are some of the best material that he’s written. He seems to be establishing “swagger” and it’s only a matter of time before he’s hopping onto other artist’s tracks. At the same time, juvenile songs like “Kissing Ears” and “Drnk Txt Rmeo” lack growth the growth to establish him as a “lyrical genius.”Musically, the band has grown exponentially. Drummer Matt McGinley has a commanding presence on “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” and guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo even has a couple of guitar solos on “Home” and “Live a Little.” The band has also started to branch out into Pop-Rock with “Live a Little” and Reggae with “Blinded by the Sun.” “Live Forever,” is easily one of the best songs the group has released and features a cameo from Daryl Hall of the legendary Hall and Oates. With three tracks produced by Cool & Dre and cameos by Busta Rhymes (“Peace Sign/Index Down”) and The-Dream ( “Cookie Jar”), The Quilt is undoubtedly the Gym Class Heroes’ album with the most potential for crossover appeal, but the marketing choices of their record label could be detrimental to this album’s success. Let’s face it – Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco aren’t necessarily a draw in the Hip-Hop community.The Quilt comes fresh off of the group’s increasing popularity from the successful singles “Cupid’s Chokehold” and “Clothes Off!” The group faced the pressures of releasing their fourth album to an undefined fanbase, ultimately meaning that one of its biggest tasks was to win back old fans and reel in new ones. Unfortunately, if you weren’t a previous GCH fan, this may not change your mind.