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Friday, June 11, 2010

Travis McCoy: Lazurus

By Nick Carrabine

For those that don’t know, Travis McCoy is the frontman of the Gym Class Heroes and unfortunately, is probably most famous for dating Katy Perry for three years.

Now, Perry is engaged to Russell Brand (she's going from dirt to mud, no offense), which McCoy is none to pleased about. So much so, that most of this album is obviously directed towards her.

When I listen to solo albums, the first thing I usually ask myself is, did the artist do anything on their solo project that is significantly different than what their band generally would do. The answer here is no. When the answer is no, I ask myself, what’s the reason for going out on your own if you are going to create such a similar project to what your band probably would have created?

Gym Class Heroes is a unique band. McCoy is a rapper/singer who enlisted three musicians around him in GCH. He raps and sings over live guitars, drums and bass. It’s alternative rock/rap.

I expected Lazurus to be more of a rap album, however on most of the 10 songs, I hear McCoy rapping/singing over what else, live guitars, drums and bass. In short, Lazurus sounds like a typical GCH record.

Regardless, McCoy has scored a massive hit with his first single “Billionaire” ft. Bruno Mars (on acoustic guitar) and there are a slew of other potential chart toppers on this album.

McCoy, with both GCH and the solo album, wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not afraid to go into personal issues or discuss his relationship with Perry (the guy, afterall, released a mixtape titled Forgetting Katy Perry)

“Don’t Pretend,” while a little bit over the top, is about as clear cut as can be when it comes to discussing the end of his and Perry’s relationship.

“Little miss teary eyes, you have no reason to lie to me
Put your coat down, why you waving goodbye to me?
I’ve been reassessing the situation sitting silently
And finally realizing how you can’t look eye to eye with me
And I knew about him the whole time, the hotels, phone calls, the whole nine
But I guess that’s what friends are for, and I’ve come to a conclusion that you’re nothing but a very selfish person
...Open up my chest and you’ll see a hole cavity where my heart use to be
Makings amends is out of the question, when you look into his pupils and I’m the reflection.”

I guess after listening to this multiple times, I can see why McCoy felt the need to put out a solo record even though it sounds so much like a GCH album. The answer is, probably just to vent about this personal problems, where as in the band, everyone has a say into the writing process and how the songs are formed and the content of them.

Perhaps, McCoy didn’t want anyone having any input into what he was going to talk about or how he wanted the songs to come across, while still not straying too far from the sound that is expected of him or GCH.

This was McCoy’s outlet, where he admitted he was in a dark place and needed to get something out and it’s a decent album to hold me over until GCH releases the Papercut Chronicals II.

"Billionaire" Ft. Bruno Mars music video

"Don't Pretend"

"Need You"


Blogger Minoccio said...

I like GCS, still haven't listened, still haven't listened to the solo album, but your review got me interested.

July 28, 2010 at 5:09 AM 

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