Given Travie McCoy's global chart success with pop-R&B gem 'Billionaire' back in 2010, we'd have understood if his band Gym Class Heroes wanted to get in on some similar action. However, the New York four-piece have decided to quite literally return to their roots for their fifth studio album, opting for an in-direct sequel to 2005's The Papercut Chronicles.
That said, inklings of McCoy's solo project seep through with the set's lead single 'Stereo Hearts'. The Adam Levine-assisted song is a perfect example of Gym Class Heroes doing what they do best - with Travie's nonchalant metaphors juxtaposed by a soulful, pop-funk hook. Second single 'Ass Back Home' with newbie electro singer Neon Hitch also continues the ear-pleasing combo of a wistful pop melody with McCoy's hip-hop bravado.
It's no surprise that the two tracks have been pegged as singles, as the remainder undergoes more style changes than a Lady GaGa concert. 'Lazarus, Ze Gitan' echoes the band's punk-pop beginnings with hints of Latin influences, while 'Kid Nothing and the Never-Ending Naked Nightmare' follows up to 2005's 'Kid Nothing vs. the Echo Factor' shoe-horning in a heavy metal-inspired riff.
The off-kilter balance between reviving their glory days and appealing to a mass pop crowd makes for an overall confusing and unfocused collection. While we're used to hearing their influences on their sleeve, we'd suggest sticking to clever duets and big pop choruses in future.
Tracks to download: 'Stereo Hearts', 'Ass Back Home', 'Life Goes On'
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Watch the music video for Gym Class Heroes' 'Ass Back Home' below: