Picks and Pans Review: Gym Class Heroes

updated 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Quilt

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REVIEWED BY JESSICA HERNDON

ALT HIP-HOP
With their second record, the New York hip-rockers—signed by pal Pete Wentz—ditch their trademark cheeky humor to focus on tough topics like suicide and stepping out of their parents' shadows. Best is the gloomy yet romantic "Live Forever (Fly with Me)," highlighted with a cameo by Daryl Hall of soul-pop duo Hall & Oates. But "Cupid's Chokehold" lovers shouldn't fret: "Cookie Jar," featuring singer-songwriter The-Dream, is all sorts of synth-soaked fun. Guest spots from Busta Rhymes, U.K. singer Estelle and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump round out the band's refined sound, complete with horns, reggae nuances and amazing guitar solos.

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