Editors’ Notes The first wave of classic Wu-Tang solo albums — Method Man’s Tical, GZA’s Liquid Swords, and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx — were spare and cerebral. Ghostface Killah’s Ironman brought a burst of unbridled vulnerability to the crew’s aesthetic. Ghostface’s style fuses detail-oriented storytelling with stream-of-consciousness word association, but his delivery has the emotional urgency of a man perpetually on the verge of tears. Brilliant works like “Wildflower,” “Fasta Blade,” “Assassination Day,” Winter Warz” and “Box In Hand” adhere to the Wu-Tang’s spare, mysterious blueprint, but Ironman is defined by its references to ‘70s R&B. Ghostface is perfectly matched to the deconstructed Memphis soul samples of “Iron Maiden,” “260,” “Fish,” and “Motherless Child,” while the drumless Jackson 5 sample used in “All That I Got Is You” sets that song’s poignant tone. Ironman closes with its most overlooked but also most interesting songs. Arranged in a haunting trilogy, “Motherless Child,” “Black Jesus” and “After the Smoke Is Clear” are ruminations that fuse Black Nationalist theology, ghetto portraiture, and ancient blues.

SONG
Iron Maiden
1
4:46
 
Wildflower
2
3:26
 
Fasta Blade
3
2:28
 
260
4
2:46
 
Assassination Day
5
4:17
 
Poisonous Darts
6
2:15
 
Winter Warz
7
4:40
 
Box in Hand
8
3:14
 
Fish
9
3:50
 
Camay
10
4:31
 
Daytona 500
11
4:40
 
Motherless Child
12
3:45
 
Black Jesus
13
4:37
 
After the Smoke Is Clear
14
3:17
 
All That I Got Is You
15
5:20
 
Marvel
16
5:10
 

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