Swollen Members

Bad Dreams

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The second LP from L.A.-/Vancouver-based Swollen Members is a natural and overwhelmingly positive evolution from 1999's Balance. An 18-track movement with banner production, an incredible lineup, vital energy, and a quiet confidence rarely found in hip-hop, Bad Dreams is an inspired and unique set from front to back. With appearances from Jurassic 5's Chali 2Na, Evidence, DJ Babu, Planet Asia, DJ Revolution, Joey Chavez, Son Doobie, Moka Only, and other key members of the Battle Axe crew, the album both takes itself extremely seriously and throws a great party at the same time. The record's highlights are many, though the appearance of the highly acclaimed 2NA with Dilated Peoples' Evidence on "Full Contact" is easily the record's biggest asset in a paramount rap-along collaboration. "Take It Back" and "Total Package" feature music from the sensational DJ Revolution, who makes funk-hop sound groundbreaking all over again. And while their rotating DJs and producers make the whole set progressive and lively, it's the tag-team duo of Mad Child and Prevail who pull everything back into SM's familiar fold.

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