A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is the fourth full-length album from this buzzworthy hip-hop band who collaborated with an impressive roster of star power. Four-letter words run rampant on the album, which mostly deals with adult themes, including cheating, being cheated on, and drug use. There are also appearances of words like "bitch" and "whore."
What's the story?
THE QUILT couldn't be more aptly named. This energetic album is an eclectic patchwork mix of R&B, pop, hip-hop, reggae, and indie-pop. Several of the songs are about relationships and infidelity. The pop-sounding \"Guilty as Charged\" is about cheating, and then the tables are turned on the reggae-driven \"Blinded by the Sun.\" \"Cookie Jar\" is an innuendo-filled track about being unable to resist the temptations of different women.
Is it any good?
The band teamed up with several star collaborators to put this one together -- some of the more notable appearances include Busta Rhymes on the anthem "Peace Sign/Index Down" (surprisingly one of the album's "angrier" tracks), Estelle on "Guilty as Charged," and Daryl Hall on "Live Forever (Fly with Me)."
While The Quilt does have some predictable "fast-forward" moments, like the cheesy "Kissing Ears," other tracks keep you guessing -- you might almost say too much. For example, "No Place to Run" doesn't sound like anything else on the album, or anything else Gym Class Heroes has ever done. It's as if someone switched you to shuffle mode mid-listen. But for the most part, this is a catchy collection with some lyrics you won't be able to get out of your head, as much as you might want to.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this album differs from earlier Gym Class Heroes albums. Does it seem as if this collection is more serious? More than one song on the album is about being unfaithful. Do songs like this make it seem more acceptable to cheat on your boyfriend or girlfriend, or to constantly be suspicious that they are? Does it make being a player seem cool? Does The Quilt seem like a surprising name for a hip-hop album, or is it a good reflection of the many different musical styles represented?