Of all the sins committed by Pete Wentz’s hyper-emo record label Decaydance, Gym Class Heroes have always been the most forgivable. The emo-rap group’s first two albums were both bogged down with the kind of over-the-top, opposite-sex driven emoting that is seen as deep poetry for the preteen crowd, but they were also loaded with some legitimately fun songs. Lead vocalist Travis McCoy’s heart was as bloody as anyone else’s, but he also possessed a quirky delivery and the occasional airtight rhyme scheme. The music, while never fantastic, always had a homegrown feel that gave the band an authenticity severely lacking in the emo circles of the pop world. As sappy as those records were, there was at least some good times to be had. Sadly, The Quilt is little more than a mainstream pop-rap record that replaces songs about bitches with songs about ex-girlfriends. The band is pushed from the mix, the sparse guitars and bass-snare drum beats of previous albums replaced with overproduced and underdeveloped banger beats. From the convoluted and ill-performed guitar solo to the flaccid crooning of some R&B wannabe, the album’s production hits almost every single pop-rap stereotype. McCoy’s lyrics have been dumbed down as well: Where he used to weave clever lines loaded with humor and punch, he now raps in transparent and uninspired metaphors. Even a guest verse from Busta Rhymes can’t breathe any life into this copy-and-paste mess.
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