Album review of 'The Quilt' by Gym Class Heroes released through Fueled By Ramen.
One of the surprise breakthrough acts of 2007, New York quartet Gym Class Heroes had top 5 hits on both sides of the Atlantic and saw their debut record certified gold in their home country. This follow-up features a host of collaborations and is part-produced by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy.
Beginning with the sweet input of Estelle's vocals, 'Guilty As Charged' is super-charged with brass and Latin flavours, swaggering with energy that will translate to dance floors. Patty Crash's relaxed contribution to 'Drnk Txt Rmeo' gives a Caribbean twist, while Busta Rhymes adds the sort of attitude to 'Peace Sign/Index Down' that you'd expect from the lightning-tongued rapper. Without the help of their friends though, Gym Class Heroes have less of an impact, 'Blinded By The Sun' passes innocently, while 'Don't Tell Me It's Over' comes across as an Eminem cast-off. Lead single 'Cookie Jar' has such a resemblance to Black Eyed Peas' 'My Humps' that if Fergie performed the vocals you'd swear it IS that track, while punkier experiments 'Live A Little' and 'No Place To Run' sit badly next to their Fueled By Ramen label mates such as Paramore and The Academy Is. 'Kissin' Ears' briefly sets the pulse racing, but these moments are few and far between.