Mo Thugs Family

IV: The Movement

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Despite limited success and the increasingly depreciating reputation of Bone Thugs themselves, the Mo Thugs Family returned for their forth go-round, IV: The Movement, and seem surprisingly unhindered by their previous commercial struggles. By this point the loose collective's ringleader, Layzie Bone, had consolidated the Family into a few standout performers who share the spotlight here: Ken Dawg, Felecia, E-Mortal Thugs, and Skant. The focus on these few Thugs is certainly welcome, as they're all enormously talented, particularly the silky-voiced Felecia; furthermore, it makes for a more consistent listening experience, as they each get a couple tracks of their own to shine, with Layzie turning in some standout contributions of his own. The production work on The Movement unfortunately isn't nearly as consistent as the performers. The half-dozen producers share a West Coast approach to synthesized beatmaking, which is fine and the norm for Bone, but they flip it differently on practically every track, crafting a Janet Jackson-style contemporary soul track for Felecia one moment and a jittery Dirty South-style club-banger the next. This mishmash of styles remains the most frustrating characteristic of the Mo Thugs Family: They're a diverse bunch with a little bit of everything for everyone but not really enough of anything to leave you feeling satisfied. So, while The Movement certainly has its moments and showcases some impressive talents, it's a mixed bag. Sure, that's the idea here, as these Mo Thugs albums are meant to be samplers that lay the foundation for solo follow-ups. However, seven years and four albums after Mo Thugs debuted, they still haven't spun off any significant solo ventures; they just keep returning with more jumbled albums that unfortunately never equal the sum of their parts.

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