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The Critics Corner: Albums
Lazarus
Travie McCoy- Lazarus
Gym Class Heroes frontman crafts solid, catchy solo debut

Name: Lazarus
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Review written by: Casey Compernolle

The highly anticipated solo album called "Lazarus" was released on June 8th, 2010 by Gym Class Heroes front man Travis McCoy.  However, Travis McCoy has said that he would rather be called his childhood nickname "Travie."  He said he wants to let fans and listeners in as if they were his family.  In "Lazarus" he does just that.  Many songs are personal and deep, while still including numerous "feel good songs" just in time for summer fun.  The original album name "The Lazarus Project" had to be changed due to copyright reasons with an upcoming motion picture.  Whatever the name,  I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard this album.  "Lazarus" is very different from anything Gym Class Hero's ever released, while still capturing catchy lyrics and unique beats.  T-Pain, Cee Lo Green, Bruno Mars, and Tim William are just some of the artists featured on this album which help give the tracks a variety of talent.

The first song of the album is called "Dr. Feel Good."  The title does the song justice, providing a feel good melody, while giving a relatable message.  The song features Cee Lo Green, and is defiantly a song someone can turn up in the car, shower, or at a party.  However, the beat could have been a little better.  I do not think that listeners will connect with this song as much as some others on "Lazarus."

The second song on the album is called "Superbad," and is by far my favorite song on the CD.  This song has a more serious tone apart from "Dr. Feel Good," but in a very good way.  The beat of the song is nor slow or fast, but is very unique and catchy.  It is one of his more rebellious tracks, as the chorus states, "It's 11:34 I'm on a roll it's almost noon and I ain't got nowhere to go.  And this is the road of my life, so I'm going to have a little fun and ride till I see the sun."  It is almost as if the song is relaying a message that he might not be entirely happy, but this is the life he was supposed to live, therefore he mid as well make it the best he possibly can.  I think many people will find this a favorite on the album as I did.

The third and most popular track thus far on "Lazarus" is known as "Billionaire."  This song features Bruno Mars, and happens to be another one of my favorite songs on the CD.  Travie McCoy stated that this song was not meant to mean he was rich, however it is meant as an anthem for what he hopes to one day achieve, and a truthful description of what he would do with such a large amount of money.  The lyrics sing, "I wanna be a billionaire so fricken bad, and buy all of the things I never had."  I believe that this song is a great song for summer, and remains a happy upbeat tune for any ones play list.

The following song is called "Need You."  This song offers a more serious tone, however the lyrics are intriguing and serve as easy listening.  It is telling a story of how he is a "mess from someone before."  It talks about needing time to break down walls that he has built, and asking the one he cares about to try to understand.  It is one of his more personal songs on Lazarus, and remains a "tell all" confession of where he is currently at in his life.  "Need You" is easy for many to relate with, and I believe Travie McCoy did a perfect job with making it personal while still allowing listeners to relate with his words at the same time.

The next song on the album is known as "Critical."  This is one my least favorite tracks, although I do think Tim William has great vocals throughout the entire song.  In my opinion they repeat the chorus "It's getting critical" way too many times, and stray away from the core meaning of the song.  I found myself getting bored with the beat by the middle of the song, and did not find the lyrics up to par with some of his other work on the album.  I was extremely disappointed with "Critical."

The sixth track on Lazarus is called "Akidagain."  If you listen to this song and do not understand the title it reads "A Kid Again" without the spaces.  Travie McCoy reminisces about his past as a kid, and talks about how he sometimes wishes he was young again, and some of the things that made him not only the person, but also the artist he is today.  This song was mediocre, but I do not believe it will be one of his bigger hits on the album.

"We'll Be Alright" remains the seventh track on "Lazarus", and definitely targets the younger generation of listeners he has.  It starts off saying, "We are young, we run free, stay up late, we don't sleep, got our friends, got the night, we'll be alright."  The lyrics will certainly be a power ballad for teens, and I believe they will appreciate the carefree message Travie gives.  It serves as the perfect song to start off the night with...and possibly end with!

The following song after "We'll Be Alright" is called "The Manual."  This song features T-Pain and Young Cash.  I think that T-Pain and Young Cash made this song, and without them this track would not be what he turned out to be.  This is more hip hop than some of the other songs on Lazarus, but Travie McCoy knew exactly how to make it flow.  These lyrics talk about how no one can tell you how to live besides yourself.  I believe that all three artists do a good job stressing individuality and dancing to the beat of your own drum.

One of the last songs on the album is called "After Midnight"  I give this song a ten out of ten!  The first time I heard this song I absolutely loved it.  It is certainly a song you turn up while your in the car with your friends.  Travie McCoy does a superb job creating lyrics that will appeal to teens and young adults.  The unique beat is easy to sing along with, and the words are also very clear and easy to follow.  This song is a must listen!

"Don't Pretend" is the tenth and final song on "Lazarus."  Although we can never be sure, many suspect that this a song in regards to Travie's former ex Katy Perry.  He stated that although he wished he could say none of his songs would be about their split he would be lying.  I think many listeners will respect this track due to McCoy's honest and genuine lyrics that are clearly identified throughout the song.  Colin Munroe is featured in this song, and I believe that he did a great job with vocals.  The lyrics defiantly lure you in and keep you listening for more.

Overall, I believe that Travie McCoy did an amazing job with his first solo album.  With the help of many talented featured artists, he gave the perfect amount of serious, carefree, rebellious, and funny tracks for fans to choose from.  The unique beats make it incredibly hard to pin point one specific genre of music, but after listening to "Lazarus" I have a feeling one won't mind to much.  This is an album I would certainly go buy to kick off the summer.  Good job Travie!
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