Gym Class Heroes’ hip hop/rock sound has always been intriguing. Six years ago, they released their second album The Papercut Chronicles, which produced it’s most famous hit “Cupid’s Chokehold”. It was a solid album that secured them a place in the industry, but they have always wanted to do a follow-up to it. After recording two other albums and spending the last few years working on demos, solo projects and collaborations with artists like Bruno Mars, they’re back with a new album entitled The Papercut Chronicles II addressing a six-year comma to the Chronicle sentence.
I first heard their first single, “Stereo Hearts” a sticky-sweet pop song with a hip hop beat while flipping through the radio stations. Featuring Adam Levine’s sweet vocals, it’s appeal was not lost on me. It’s obvious why it’s their first radio single hit.
“Life Goes On,” an upbeat little tune with a happy-go-lucky hook, is a great addition to the disc. With lyrics like,”I’m just trying to stay righteous sometimes I see my own face in Christ’s likeness. But it’s tough to stay upright and pious when people you hold highest be the ones that most biased,” you can’t help but hear a deeper meaning behind their lyrics and I must admit, they make a valid point. It doesn’t stop there either. In “Holy Horses**T, Batman!!” you really hear their heart about a bad experience they had with a Christian. It’s hard to hear when people who represent Christ just say the wrong things. In this case, someone who hands out a pamphlet also hurls insults like, “I’ll pray for your children.” This is the thing that bothers me about Christians, that sometimes they use God as a weapon, instead of just showing His love.
The entirety of the chorus addresses this insult stating, “Maybe I would be a fool to think that somewhere in the sky’s a place for me. What good would it be to pray for me? You won’t save me, don’t pray for me.” Truthfully, it’s a song that really hit me in the gut. Not because I was offended, but because their perspective was somewhat accurate, as far as their experience goes. It’s certainly a topic that is rarely adressed in mainstream music, but still incredibly authentic.
“Nil-Nil-Draw” should be in the break-up song hall of fame. It’s fun beat and intermittent electric guitar riffs back up McCoy’s hard-knock lyrics.”The Fighter” is a great pop-ballad and is very well-placed in the album. Featuring Ryan Tedder in the chorus, its inspiring lyrics make you want to put on your boxing gloves. It’s really the highlight of the album for me, and is sure to be their next “Cupid’s Chokehold.” There’s something about Travie McCoy’s diction and passion that is so much more distinguishable than just your average rapper. It’s what catapults GCH from goodness to greatness.
The Papercut Chronicles II definitely left it’s mark. With its thought-provoking lyrics, and fist-pounding beats, it’s very apparent they poured their heart out into this album.