Wu-Tang Clan - The 8 Diagrams (Ltd. Ed.) CD+DVD
|After months of rumors, disputes, disagreements and free publicity - The Wu return with their 5th studio album, the first since The Iron Flag. The last 5 years or so have been marked by both milestones and tragedy for one of the most successful and controversial groups in hip hop history. After being heavily affected by the loss of ODB, the Wu stand together again for the 8 Diagrams (titled in true fashion by a classic Kung-Fu flick of the same name). As talk of the album swarmed with buzz for the Killa Bee's and their legions of fans around thev world, we encountered pushed-back release dates and members speaking out over frustrations with the album as it came close to completion. But the people have spoken...and within days the positive response has been overwhelming as fans are shouting ''The Wu is back!'' Back to their roots with hardcore beats and the type of gritty rhymes that we came to love with the arrival of the 36 Chambers almost 15 years ago. Things have changed in the 21st Century...but hopefully household names like The RZA, The GZA, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Method Man, Masta Killa, U-God and Cappadonna can help shift gears in the right direction and get the masses to remember what this music is really about. ''How could hip-hop be dead if Wu-Tang is forever?''-RZA|
|2.||Take It Back |
|3.||Get Them Out Ya Way Pa|
|5.||Unpredictable (feat. Dexter Wiggle)|
|6.||The Heart Gently Weeps (feat. Erykah Badu / Dhani Harrison / John Frusciante) |
|7.||Wolves (feat. George Clinton)|
|8.||Gun Will Go (feat. Sunny Valentine)|
|10.||Stick Me For My Riches (feat. Gearald Alston) |
|11.||Starter (feat. Sunny Valentine / Tash Mahogany)|
|14.||Life Changes |
Progressive is The RZA's Middle Name (4 Stars)
, March 7, 2008
- See all my reviews
The boiling controversy concerning this album's direction between fellow Wu members resulted in one of the most anticipated releases of 2007, let alone the Wu-Tang Clan's entire discography. Curiosity had me drooling for this album months ahead of it's scheduled release. Honestly, with The RZA being accused of being a "hip-hop hippy" from his fellow Clan members was more intriguing. Which to me, meant a welcomed change in formula.
While I can't say everyone on the roster is in TOP form. I will say The RZA is in top form. I also feel Method Man, Raekwon & Ghost are doing the best job overall. RZA's beats aren't that left field realistically. "Campfire" opens the album gorgeously, while "Take It Back" flexes a simpler, more atmospheric beat for the members to ride on. "Get Them Out Ya Way Pa" is one of my favorites, featuring dope verses from Meth. "Rushing Elephants" boasts a dope beat and holds solid. "Unpredictable" has some heart-stopping production - most definitely a standout. This one is exploding with energy and dope verses all around. "The Heart Gently Weeps" is a cover of The Beatle's "My Heart Gently Weeps" featuring John Frusciante on guitar & Erykah Badu on vocals. Compared to the advance of this tune I heard, this turned out to be a stunning track. "Wolves" is a solid joint here. Dope soundscape and tight lyrics from everyone.
"Guns Will Go" is where it starts to get fuzzy for me. Though the lyrics are very dope, I'm simply not feeling the backing vocals by Sunny Valentine. Like the next track "Sunlight", it also slows down the mix...almost to a stop. This is a definite skipper to me. "Stick Me For My Riches" - too much singing. This is where the album stars to take a dive in my opinion. We are loosing that raw tag team style that makes the Wu so appealing. "Starter" also fails to boast a quality hook, let alone a worthwhile verse. "Windmill" saves the momentum a bit with a quality joint. "Weak Spot" & "Life Changes" close out the album pretty nicely. I can't really complain about those.
Overall, this album is somewhat front-loaded with most of the quality cuts. It just starts to lose a little steam as it moves along. Realistically, GZA, Meth, Rae, Deck, Ghostface, and even U-God perform well throughout. Some sound more hungry and inspired by RZA's production choices than others. My main complaint is that there could have been less "pretty" hooks on this album. That's usually a trait that helps an album. But this is the Wu-Tang Clan. I'm not usually looking for elegant female choruses to spice up a winningly gritty East coast feel.
8 diagrams gets a 5
, January 28, 2008
By: Sweet Therapy
- See all my reviews
RZA has gotten a lot of hype for the production of this album. However, I can't HEAR any reason why. Credit is due for the tribute to ODB track other than that the only other clean and hip beats come from the Wolves track. The flows seem a little to nice for Wu-Tangs hard east coast style. Maybe next time. Sooner than later too!
best wu group album since forever
, December 14, 2007
- See all my reviews
they lived up to my expectations on this. rza did an excellent job with the production and all members come at the top of their game. heart gently weeps is definitely the standout track with ghost's verse being one of the best i've heard in a long long time. the only weak spots are some of the hooks which get a little repetitive. overall i would give this a 4 outta 5.