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Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang: Return Of The Wu And Friends

  by Mark Rowland

published: 7 / 3 / 2010



Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang: Return Of The Wu And Friends
Label: Gold Dust
Format: CD

intro

Fantastic compilation of rarities and remixes from much praised hip-hop act, Wu-Tang Clan


After their game-changing debut album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ and a stream of influential solo records and follow-ups, the Wu-Tang Clan’s post-2000 work has been a mixed bag, particularly the group efforts. While albums such as Ghostface Killah’s ‘Fishscale’ and RZA’s ‘Chamber Music’ project were critically acclaimed and well-received, even the Wu –Tang are divided in opinion about their last album, ‘8 Diagrams’. There’s no doubting that the sudden death of the troubled, talented Ol’ Dirty Bastard in 2004 hit the band hard, but the band members’ moves into acting and other projects has diverted attention from the band itself over the past decade. While RZA remains a talented and daring producer, the differences in opinion as to the band’s direction and a lack of coherent sound have also had a detrimental effect. That said, considering the current state of mainstream rap – for the most part cheesy, auto-tune drenched, throw-away stuff – even the Wu-Tang’s worst output is a million times better than the latest hip hop hit. ‘Return of the Wu’ is not a new Wu-Tang album – it’s a compilation of rare tracks and remixes mixed by Wu-Tang affiliate DJ Mathematics – but it does for the most part remind you why Wu-Tang are considered one of the greatest rap groups of all time. Ok, so nothing here matches up to anything off ‘Enter the Wu-Tang’, ‘Wu-Tang Forever’, ‘Tical’, ‘Return to the 36 Chambers’, ‘Liquid Swords’ or ‘Fishscale’, to name a few, but it is a fairly solid, stop-gap mix album. The tracks come from a variety of sources, spanning from 2000-2008; some are drawn from solo Mathematics albums that feature Wu members, others date from recording sessions of 'The W', others are unreleased remixes. The overall sound is closer to the harder Wu-Tang sound than ‘8 Diagrams’, but tracks such as the psychedelic sounding ‘Strawberries and Cream’ and the slow ‘Da Way We Were’ mix things up a little. Opening two tracks ‘Clap 2010’ and ‘Respect 2010’ are remixes of existing tracks; both are different enough from the originals to seem fresh, and both show of Mathematics’ talents as a producer. ‘It’s What It Is’, with its dramatic horns, kung fu samples and funky clav, is a standout, with Masta Killa Ghostface Killah and Raekwon delivering razor-sharp street rhymes. ‘Steppin 2 Me’ has an upbeat, old school vibe, with a bouncy bass line and lyrical references to rap battles. ‘All Flowers’ has the classic Wu-Tang sound with its dusty beats and piano riff, while Method Man’s ‘John 3:16’ and Raekwon’s ‘Treez’ make you want to dig out ‘Tical’ and ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…’, their debut solo albums respectively. Even ODB appears on the album, on the aptly named ‘Early Grave’. It might not be a proper Wu-Tang album, but it sure does make you wish for one.



Track Listing:-
1 Clap 2010 (Exclusive Mix)
2 Respect 2010 (Exclusive Mix)
3 It's What It Is
4 Strawberries & Cream
5 Station ID Break (Exclusive Mix)
6 All Flowers (Exclusive Mix)
7 John 3:16
8 Treez
9 What It Is
10 Iron God Chamber
11 Real Nillaz
12 Rush
13 Da Way We Were
14 Early Grave (Exclusive Mix)
15 Keep Pace (Exclusive Mix)
16 Spotlite (Original Mix)



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