After three years of pursuing solo releases, the Wu-Tang Clan has reunited for the double CD, “Wu-Tang Forever.” The much-anticipated album is the group’s first since their popular debut, “36 Chambers.” It was produced by the RZA, and features all nine members (if you can name them all, you are a true fan) throughout the 27 tracks on this expanded format. In addition, the first of the two discs is also an enhanced CD. This allows you (if you have access to a CD-ROM drive) to play an interactive game and view footage of the group.
The album itself resembles their first in many ways. From the hard-core lyrics and rhymes to the old kung-fu fighting movie samples, it has the sound that made the first so easily recognizable. The music will definitely not be confused with any other popular hip hop act like Puff Daddy or Snoop Doggy Dogg. The Clan uses little or no sampling or borrowing the musical hook from older music, unlike the more popular rap hits of the past few years.
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It is not the type of music for everyone. Its tracks are laced with explitives, and it is labeled as such.
The album’s first release, “Triumph,” has been compared to the group’s first hit “Protect ya Neck.” The song features all nine rappers. Its high-tech video, computerized bees and all, is a favorite on MTV. But it is not one of this reviewer’s favorite songs. In fact, the whole album is sort of a disappointment. Despite the few tracks that are all right, it just seems to be missing the edge the first had. The next release due out, “It’s Yours,” is a better song, but it doesn’t approach songs like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Bring ‘da Ruckus.” Maybe it is because there was so much anticipation, or maybe the layoff has had an effect on the group’s sound.
The album was released over the summer, and is in abundance at your local music store. Most of the group’s big fans probably already own a copy, so there isn’t much of a rush to buy it. If you are into the R and hip-hop scene, it may be worth checking out. However, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you want Wu-Tang Clan albums and already own “36 Chambers,” the solo projects (R.A., Method Man, O.D.B., Tha Genius, Rackwon) are a much safer bet. .