Review Summary: Travis takes a break from Gym, and tries out a new game.
When you think of Travis McCoy, the first thing that comes to your mind is Gym Class Heroes. Gym Class Heroes, for you who don't know, are an alternative rap band with McCoy as the MC. So for all of you, like I, who had listened to this album listening for McCoy's signature Gym Class Heroes style, prepare to be a bit shocked.
"Billionaire" featuring Bruno Mars (yes, that guy from B.o.B.'s "Nothin' on You") is the song out on the airwaves right now, and it's a fresh track that really gave McCoy some spotlight besides Gym Class Heroes. The song features catchy guitar chords backed by tight drums. McCoy's rhymes are solid, but nothing amazing in this song. But interestingly, this song really does not reflect the real artistry or thought behind this album. "Billionaire" does a good job as a single, but to get the real idea of the album, you need to listen to the rest of it.
There are influences from many genres packaged in this album, mainly hip-hop and R&B. Travie shows composure as he sings his way through many of the tracks ("Superbad", "Need You", "We'll Be Alright"). The lack of rap in these songs will definitely not be enough for some, but as the cover shows, this is a Travie McCoy album, and not a Gym Class Heroes album. This album does a great job of showcasing McCoy outside of his regular shell. Electronics take over a bulk of the album too, creating a really relaxing atmosphere in most of the songs.
Lyrical content isn't superior, but it's satisfying, to say the least. McCoy demonstrates his views on just relaxing and living life ("Superbad"), nostalgia (Akidagain), and pulls out his complete arsenal in "The Manual", which I daresay is the best song on the album.
McCoy's poise, evident in the recording, and his creativity really make this album glow a bit more than the other new Hip-Hop stars these days, and this album serves as a good breather compared to newer artists. This is a great driving, or sitting back album, and I definitely recommend it as a quick listen.
Is it a keeper? Probably not for most. But, if you're looking for a fresh new sound, pick this up and loop it a couple times. One must go farther than "Billionaire" to experience the whole sound. Keep that in mind.