I took a listen to the newest Swollen Members album, Armed to the Teeth. And since I felt like I had an opinion about it I decided to write a review.
This album has been released since October but I didn't get around to listening to it until today. I pretty much thought it was a must have, as every other Swollen Members album has been. But sadly, I wouldn't even write this review if that were the case. Their formula isn't nearly the same as it was in the past.
This album reeks of Cognac, and cheap Crystal! -Slugtron
I know that all of Swollen Members albums sound different from each other, but through all the variation they've always sounded good and at minimum resembled themselves. When I first started to listen to Swollen Members they were an underground act, and it came through in their first album Balance. (Which I think is their best album as well.) This first album is what I would describe as "abstract hip hop" The beats were very iconic, but not overdone, the choruses were minimal. The music stood out mostly because the caliber of its lyrics. It sounded like it was made for the fans.
Sadly every album since then has slowly digressed from this winning formula. But up until Armed to the Teeth, it has been more good than bad. Although their album Heavy walked a fine line. The beats were very overdone, and their lyrics sunk a bit into the void that is Ganster rap. But it almost felt as if they were joking about it, and their followup album Black Magic actually reverted towards their underground roots, and redeemed any previous wrong doing. Although it doesn't seem right to use the words "wrong doing" as sometimes fake gangster rap can be fun. Casual does what I consider fake gangster rap, and he is amazing. That is how I would describe Heavy.
Armed to the Teeth crossed this line and then popped a GATT in its ass. The songs are all about pimps, guns, drugs, money, expensive cars, pussy, and synthesized choruses. This album sounds like selling out. It's as if Swollen Member's fame were gravity, and they are a star that ran out of fuel. Which scientist safely predict turn into a black hole. In this case the black hole= crazy.
It's still better than listening to 50 cent, but there are definitely some songs that I would be embarrassed to listen to in front of Dr.Dre. The worst part about the album is that Madchild and Prevail still exhibit talent. The whole problem is the lyrics are cheap, the beats sound like they were made on wall-street, and the new guy that sings their choruses "Tre Nyce" is a douche bag.
Some of the songs are good despite the horrible, but some have no merit whatsoever. Those songs are:
Here We Come
repeat, the songs listed above are so bad they could make you question your robo-sexuality.
These are songs only a mother could love...Well if she were on as much oxycotton as Swollen Members must have been on! -Slugtron
Listed below are the songs that were actually good. (The songs that are not listed simply shouldn't make your ears bleed on a single play through.)
Reclaim the Throne (is just okay.)
Kyla (a little better.)
Lonely One (After listening to it a few times it just keeps getting better and better.)
Concerto (So good. The reason I will still tell people I like Swollen Members.)