Ten years isn't all that long in jazz, blues, or folk, all of which are areas of music in which a lot of familiar faces maintain their visibility year after year. But it's an awfully long time in hip-hop. So many of the rappers who were popular in 1985 weren't nearly as visible in 1995, and many of the MCs who were selling a lot of albums in 1995 were lucky to have label deals in 2005 (let alone 2010). But Swollen Members had ten years of recording history to look back on when, in March 2010, Suburban Noize released Greatest Hits: Ten Years of Turmoil. This best-of collection (which consists of a 64-minute CD and a bonus DVD) offers an enjoyable, if imperfect, overview of Swollen Members' 1999-2009 output, going back to "Horrified Nights" and "Lady Venom" from their 1999 debut Balance. All of their 2000s albums are acknowledged as well, including 2001's Bad Dreams with "Fuel Injected," 2002's Monsters in the Closet with "Breath" (featuring Nelly Furtado), and "Bring It Home," 2003's Heavy with "Watch This," 2006's Black Magic with "Swamp Water," "Grind," and "Pressure," and 2009's Armed to the Teeth with "Porn Star" and the rock-influenced "Warrior." Many of Swollen Members' best-known recordings are included, which is not to say that long-time fans won't find some omissions to complain about. For example, the single "Bollywood Chick" (one of the club bangers from Armed to the Teeth) is missing from the 64-minute CD, although a video of the tune appears on the bonus DVD. Regardless, the release of Greatest Hits: Ten Years of Turmoil is a good thing. This is definitely the place to go if one is exploring Swollen Members' work for the first time.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1