It has been a while since we last heard Cypress Hill together on a full album, some of us have missed it and some haven't. I have. And within the last few months they're have been rumours spread that B-Real is a priest, I have no idea whether that's true or not but if it is I really am confused due to the content of his music.
Well, it's album number 4 and guess what ? It's cleverly entitled 'IV' ! If you know the other three albums well then you'll be familiar and used to their very original style, the way that B-Real's voice seems to snugly fit into each hook and the way that DJ Muggs can make or break a track. Well number 'IV' is a brilliant follow up to 'Temples Of Boom.'
I can't really pinpoint a theme to the album nor is the sequence of tracks that properly scheduled however what there is on this CD is a flowing excess of brilliance. Very little hip-hop style originality although the subjects aren't anything but original. Titles like 'Looking Through The Eye Of a Pig' haven't ever been seen or talked about before to my recollection, but still whatever they do create they do it well. 'Looking Through The Eye Of A Pig' has some pretty dope beats, a scratched up B-Real hook and some pig snorting samples, the only problem with the originality of the subject is that it doesn't seem to really involve you much.
Throughout the CD there are some very, very good showcases of DJ Muggs production; for example 'Checkmate,' the track has a nice piano start, then some loud and well arranged beats mixing in with a brilliant flow above them, another example is 'Dead Men Tell No Tales.' This seems more like what I'm used to with Cypress Hill, beats which set a mood with your body, the type of high music they create which you can just lay back and relax to. The last production/rapping style that I'll talk about is in '(Goin' All Out) Nothin To Lose,' if you've ever heard N.W.A.'s '100 Miles & Runnin' track, you will know that you had a feeling of moving, going forward, created by their rapping and the beats, well that's exactly the same here. Don't misinterpret what I'm saying, this track isn't like '100 Miles & Runnin' but the feelings you got from that track occur here too.
With most albums, you've had a little sample beforehand of what the album will be like with a pre-album single. Cypress Hill dispensed 'Tequila Sunrise'/'Dr Greenthumb,' I love both these tracks so, so much, if you want to check my thoughts upon 'Tequila Sunrise' then check the September single reviews page but here I'll give you a little low down on 'Dr Greenthumb.' The track starts off with a funny voice of a guy named 'Dr Greenthumb' it's an intro in which the Doctor talks about growing weed and dealing with pesky police who want to get their hands on your stash. The track then suddenly lapses into some superb beats and a brilliant MC going by the name of B-Real seems to shine on here.
One of my favourite tracks is 'Clash Of The Titans,' a B-Real solo which builds up to some brilliant beats, there is a very enthusiastic feel to the track and Muggs adds in for the hook "Attention" sampled off of the intro from the 'Soul Assassins' CD.
An alternative sort of track is 'Lightning Strikes.' This track has some weird rock/heavy metal style beats, which have older 'Cypress Hill' samples within the beats. This track is I think the sort of track Wyclef was trying to achieve with 'Rip Rock' but this track actually works well and sounds good.
The album isn't all-good; 'Riot Starter' for example, really doesn't do too much for me, wannabe jumpy beats and a whispered chorus make this track one of the ones that you'll find yourself skipping again and again. Another poor quality track is 'Steel Magnolia' featuring Barron Ricks although there is good production, and some what good flow the track is not very grasping and easily is ignored.
On the whole though, Cypress Hill return triumphant.