Single Review: Gym Class Heroes ft. Adam Levine – ‘Stereo Hearts’

“The unmistakable nasal wheeze of Adam Levine sails pleasantly over a collection of synths, bass and beats”

3 STARS

Digital Release: October 10, 2011

Physical Release: October 17, 2011

Gym Class Heroes have inadvertently coasted through their career happily filling up their industry pocket, bringing in their quota for their label and never really causing much of a fuss in a chart direction, or at least, not on the same scale some of their rivals have. Starting out as an unruly sort of bunch, they concerned themselves with the kind of music and lyrics who’s singular goal was to rescue and prolong some sort of nostalgia of the lives of non-conforming, douche-bag American teenagers of the 90’s; turning rebellious against teachers, principles and dinner ladies (you know the kind – the ones who’d wear NYC caps to the side and whose primary mode of transportation was a skateboard) whilst at the same time pretending they enjoyed the prospect of detention and the mysterious attractiveness it brought them, as well as the dusty pubescent coronations of awkward corridor flirts with popular girls and embarrassing shower-room pranks. That said, it’d be foolish to deny them the hits they have had, even if it took until their third album until any material ever ranked among any official chart. Since their first Top 10 hit in 2006 they’ve scored an uncanny succession of hit-flop-hit-flop from their singles right up to the present day. And recently, we’ve seen them drop the angsty pre-adolescent pop-rap pap and concentrate more vividly on the facts of life with arguably more depth. This is probably most evident on Travie’s solo effort, the album ‘Lazarus’, compiled and released shortly after he ended his relationship with Katy Perry. Whilst that album boasts to desperately cringe-worthy accolade of having recorded the sound of Travie crying, it’s clear to see that after sampling the real world outside the air-conditioned class-rooms and graffitied playgrounds, Travie is injecting his newfound ‘maturity’ into his band’s music.

It’s even obvious in their collaborators. Once in the past is appears Gym Class Heroes only involved themselves with equally awkwardly-named bands. Yet now, the unmistakable nasal wheeze of Adam Levine sails pleasantly over a collection of synths, bass and beats creating an infectiously catchy summer-infused tune. The post-chorus section is unnecessary and kills much of the chorus’ driving pace, and Travie’s bridge, where some half-arsed singing is attempted, is also unnecessary. But Travie’s verses just about do the job they intended, although requesting that said love interest listens to “every mixtape my [Travie’s] friends make” may be the step too far in a relationship that’ll require the most tolerant ears for the Heroes’ flagrance.

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