Travie McCoy and friends explore life's sweet and sour sides
Gym Class Heroes have always been all over the place musically, wearing their myriad influences on their collective sleeve.
On “The Papercut Chronicles II,” out Nov. 15, the same aesthetic applies. While Travie McCoy’s spoken vocals dominate, pop, R&B, hip hop and aggressive rock all splice together, often on the same track.
The results are mixed, but one thing is clear: what works best for Gym Class Heroes is their tried-and-true method of cannily bringing in someone with singing chops that are in direct contrast to McCoy’s rapping. First single, clever “Stereo Hearts” featuring Maroon 5’s Adam Levine works perfectly and has provided the band with one of its biggest hits in its 14-year career. That yin and yang approach has proven a good call for the band on the past, especially on such tunes as the poignant “Live Forever” featuring McCoy’s hero Daryl Hall from 2008’s “The Quilt” or on 2006’s “Cupid’s Chokehold,” which blended McCoy’s gruff rap with Patrick Stump’s delicate take on Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” (or, of course, McCoy’s solo success with Bruno Mars on last year’s “Billionaire.”)