Sunday, March 21, 2010

Latvian Pride

By 1996 House Of Pain had definitely worn out their welcome in the rap world. Their 1994 sophomore effort Same As It Ever Was (while an incredible release) didn't strike #1 single gold like their first album did, a major falling out with old pals Cypress Hill drove producers away, and Everlast converted to Islam, a religion whose teachings contrasted starkly with the pseudo-Irish-hooligan lifestyle of the band, causing significant conflict between members of the group. Out of the mishmash came Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again (yep, that's a typo on the album's front cover) - a forgettable look at what happens to a great band when they piecemeal a record together. To be honest, Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again doesn't just not sound like a House Of Pain album, it barely can be called one. The more significant rapping duties are covered by a up-and-coming duo called the Scheme Team (Divine Styler and Cockni O'Dire) in lieu of Everlast and Danny Boy. What a mistake. The two founding rappers actually sound like guest appearances on this album. Sadat X and Guru submit legitimate guest appearances to try and add some life - but the beats are weak and it just seems to fall apart. So why am I posting this do you ask? The same reason I actually like Phantom Menace a decade after Jar Jar Binks made me want to puke in my movie theater seat. Once you get past shattered expectations and obvious bad creative decisions, the flick is not too bad. It'll never be great, but that's OK. So take a listen to Truth, for the second time.

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