on December 5, 2001
"Balance" is the debut offering from the canadian duo of Prevail and Madchild. This Swollen Members album has been released twice since its initial release in early 2000, and the latest release (strictly distributed by Battle Axe) has extra tracks on it, so thus its the better buy. Anyways, "Balance" boasts terrific production from stalwarts like Evidence, Kemo, Joey Chavez and the Alchemist, along with some very dope newcomers like Kodak, who in my opinion produces the best track on the album (the operatic "Out of Range).
The lyrical content of "Balance" is difficult to fully communicate, as Prevail's rhymes are boastful and straight-laced, while Madchild relies on material that is fantastical and thematic, like dungeons and dragons references and horror-flick villain shout-outs. The chemistry of the two, however, overcomes the verbal displacement for the most part. In short, Swollen Members are one of my most fave Canadian hip-hop acts, and this album will inexorably be declared a classic in due time, on the same scale as Rascalz' "Cash Crop"; if not surpassing it.
on November 16, 2001
i first heard about swollen members more than two tears ago, and circuit breaker was the first song i ever heard of theirs. and ever scince the first time i heard it i have been hooked. when i got the album about two years ago i knew that they were the dopest rap group i ever heard. the album does not rest for a second. they come full force every time, and the beats are bangin and full of deep piano, chelo, and xylophone samples. i have never seen an album where the beats match the rhymers so perfectly. and givin the fact that most of them are produced by the alchemist, evidence and joey chavez they are sure to keep your head nodding. also prodution by paul nice, zodak, kool dj eq, and del(of hiero) are not to be taken light. the best thing has to be madchild and prevail rhyme styles though. their subject matter is strait out of the dark ages, with rhymes about demon, witches, vikings, and as they put it abstract expressionism. it is easy to assume at first that they don't have realevence to the real world, but listen to what these cats have to say and you'll see that it ain't the case at all. another thing that swollen members has going for them i their voices. two complete opposites but they fit together nicly. mad child's is raspy and viscious, and prev's is smooth as silk. the album has a nice flow and continutiy about it. making the fast foward button one you will be using very much while listening to it. this album is definetly deserving of five stars, and may i add won the juno award for best rap recording 2000. so all heads need to cop this album. if you never heard undeground before this is a great album to start off with. and it is a must for any hardcore underground head's collection. so buy it don't boot leg caues these cats put in the work and they own their lable and do every thing themselve for the most part. so respect is definetly due. pick this one up you'll be glad you did. peace.
on January 21, 2003
I really have no appreciation for those who think this album was eclipsed by Bad Dreams. Shame on you all! You are no better than those who would praise J-Live's "All of the Above" over "The Best Part". It should be all too clear to all you hip-hop enthusiasts that it's not what makes them famous that counts.
Balance was originally released in a very modest setting and distributed to few in a less attrative blue and white case minus a few songs contained on the better known black and red re-release. Before this they can be heard on another compilation disc as far back as 1997 (Bomb Hip Hop Records' "Bomb Worldwide"). The beauty of "Balance" is the same as "The Best Part". Both had been works in progress for a lot longer than "Bad Dreams" or "Monsters.." and thereby have a lot more variety and I would have to say more love into this first release. There are also a lot more hands involved in the creation of this project and the album cover (depending on who you are) can read like royalty and definitely adds to the album. The artists involved intertwine beautifully to produce a sound that is truly the embodiment of underground hip-hop.
As any SM fan can plainly see that this sort of effort is possible for Bad Dreams because most of Balance had been almost completely finished a long time before it's release. However, this is certainly not to say that this album has the assortment of flavours as balance and effort.
Not to say that I hate Bad Dreams or the new mainstay of that album (namely, Rob the Viking) but it is not as good as Balance. And if you say that you think "Monsters..." is their best CD then you really need your head examined.
All told, pick this one up first if you didnt already pick up Bad Dreams. If you already own Bad Dreams and think it is the
...then you must hear "Balance". Its different and you must certainly be aware of the context which results in this albums multi-facetedness.
on October 21, 2003
This here is a classic hip-hop album that gets very little praise. This is before the members dropped their horrible teeny bopper album ''heavy'' and sold out their art like trolls to the industry. Honest to christ i cant even beleive this is the same group. The beats on here are rugged, u cant hate on evidence, alchemist, and zodak production. Plus it was just mad child and prevail. Now rob the viking and MOKA [whos incredible when hes SOLO] is in the crew. They completely betrayed their loyal fans and sold out. Bad dreams wasnt a bad album, monsters in the closet were balance out takes with the exception of some additional new mainstream garbage but still was a solid release. THIS ALBUM HERE IS WHERE ITS AT! THIS IS THE CLASSIC SWOLLEN MEMBERS! it will always be mad child and prevail. NO TRASH LIKE YOU SEE ON TELEVISION! COME BACK SWOLLEN! underground for life daddy!
on November 27, 2002
You gotta luv these guyz. Esp. if your from Vancovuer you hear about them alot. This wuz there first CD and it's still kickin... It's good, but the other two albums are better *Bad Dreams and Monsters in the Cloest* Still, they can rhyme and Moka can sing. Gotta luv them!! Any CD of there's is worth every peeny!!