Only the most ardent Shaolin monk would disagree that the Wu Tang symbol has lost some of its lustre in recent years. Odd then, that it should take an album from the quietest member, and the only one who hasn’t previously released a solo album, to reignite the whole group.
Par for the Wu course, there are guest spots from Ghostface, Method Man, Raekwon and Gza (all as good as you would expect), but this is very much Killa’s party. The production from Rza (whose rejigging of Outkast’s Skew It On The Bar-B on the title track ranks among his best work) is exemplary and the Wu chieftain even manages to pilfer samples from the themes of Sanford & Son and Cheers. Elsewhere, Mathematics and True Master are close to their best on cuts like Secret Rivals and Last Drink. In fact, the whole thing sounds like it came from the Wu’s 1994 heyday, which seeing as many of these tracks have been cocooned for over a decade, isn’t all that surprising.
That’s not to say there isn’t some degree of innovation, Digi Warfare, D.T.D. and School all broaden the Wu canon with a selection of vicious beats.