Cypress Hill didn't exactly push themselves after they revolutionized hip-hop with their first album, 1991's Cypress Hill. Black Sunday, their 1993 follow-up, was a virtual reproduction of their debut, albeit with a harder stance and an increased pop sensibility. On Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom, the group pushes forward somewhat, but with mixed results. Nothing on the album is as immediately catchy as "Insane in the Brain" or "How I Could Just Kill a Man," but Cypress Hill do open up their sound a bit, experimenting with jazz-inflected grooves, in particular, as well as soul. Even with the new musical flourishes, the essential core of the band's sound hasn't changed at all, which is slightly disappointing. Certainly, Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom is an excellently produced record, filled with sonic details that most hip-hop records of the mid-'90s are missing, but the musical content frequently doesn't quite match the production skills. Cypress Hill manages to keep a consistent mood throughout the record, and several tracks showcase the trio at their best, but Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom suggests that they are running out of things to say and ways to say them.
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Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine