The idea of a patchwork quilt is that a bunch of different fabric patterns are sown together to form one unified work. However, in the case of Gym Class Heroes‘ newest release title The Quilt, their patches seemed to clash together, making this work feel incomplete.
Sampled sounds and a ridiculous amount of guest spots beg the question as to what was the point of even having Gym Class Heroes show up in the studio. Don’t get me wrong, I love Estelle on the jazzy “Guilty As Charged” and it is great to hear Patrick Stump continuing to lend his support not only as a producer, but on backing vocals for songs like “Catch Me If You Can.” It doesn’t really seen necessary to have Busta Rhymes, The-Dream, Daryl Hall, Lil Wayne, Cool & Dre, Patty Crash, Estelle and Stump sing and rap more than the group’s own Travis McCoy.
It is actually quite hard to review this album because there is so little of the band shining through the layers of pre-recorded sound effects.
Lyrically, it disappoints. Nothing seems fresh, there’s the same list of girls and pop culture references that we’ve already heard on earlier releases. There’s no surprise when Stump, who sings on “Cupid’s Chokehold,” which borrowed lyrics from an older song repeats the same stunt as he sings “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night” during “Blinded By The Sun.” Gym Class Heroes seem to have run out of tricks. And don’t even get me started on the awful lyrics to “Cookie Jar.”
Eric Roberts does stand out with some cool bass riffs on “Drnk Txt Rmeo” and “Home.” I like the vibe of “Like Father, Like Son,” which sounds like it should be the theme to an early 80s sitcom. While, I actually do enjoy “No Place to Run” and “Live A Little,” which both actually have real instruments, even these songs were a let down because they don’t even sound like they are made by the hip hop group.
There’s some interesting elements and Estelle‘s guest spot is especially lovely, but overall, I’m just confused as to what the band even did for this album. Sure, bands progress with each release, but The Quilt ended up rather patchy.
Gym Class Heroes’ The Quilt is released by Decaydance / Fueled By Ramen on Sept. 9, 2008.
01. Guilty As Charged
02. Drnk Txt Rmeo
03. Peace Sign/Index Down
04. Like Father, Like Son (Papa’s Song)
05. Blinded By The Sun
06. Catch Me If You Can
07. Cookie Jar
08. Live A Little
09. Don’t Tell Me It’s Over
10. Live Forever (Fly With Me)
11. Kissin’ Ears
13. No Place to Run
14. Coming Clean
Written by: Bethany
Photo by: Joshua Neal
Filed under: album reviews | Tagged: bethany, Busta Rhymes, Cool & Dre, Daryl hall, Eric Roberts, Estelle, Gym Class Heroes, lil wayne, patrick stump, Patty Crash, The Quilt, The-Dream, Travis McCoy |