25 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Who would’ve expected that Ghostface would become the most vital solo artist to emerge from the beloved Wu-Tang Clan? His remarkably vivid, streetwise raps remain as potent and seductive as ever, an uncanny blend of urgency, candor, drama, wit, and grit. “This is architect music, verbal street opera,” he spits on the furious “The Champ,” which is as apt a description as any. “Kilo,” featuring his old pal Raekwon, is a spellbinding drug-dealing memoir glowing with vibrant details and held together by an irresistible hook. The whole Clan joins in on “9 Milli Bros.” (produced by MF Doom), which soars atop a terrific piano-and-strings backdrop. As usual, the album is drenched in old-school soul; few artists approach this sound with as much gusto and natural ease. Tracks like “Crack Spot” and “R.A.G.U.” (the latter produced by Pete Rock) somehow blend rather unsettling subject matter with smooth, fetching, ‘70s-style R&B productions. On “Whip You with a Strap,” which builds on Luther Ingram’s 1970 hit “To the Other Man,” producer J Dilla uses a sped-up Ingram sample to provide the perfect setting for Ghost’s unique childhood reflections. “Back Like That” (with Ne-Yo) is a slow jam with a slinky chorus and a rather threatening Ghost flow. Despite a steady parade of producers, Fishscale is cohesive and absolutely thrilling. (This iTunes edition includes a collaboration with Ice Cube that doesn’t appear on the CD.)

EDITORS’ NOTES

Who would’ve expected that Ghostface would become the most vital solo artist to emerge from the beloved Wu-Tang Clan? His remarkably vivid, streetwise raps remain as potent and seductive as ever, an uncanny blend of urgency, candor, drama, wit, and grit. “This is architect music, verbal street opera,” he spits on the furious “The Champ,” which is as apt a description as any. “Kilo,” featuring his old pal Raekwon, is a spellbinding drug-dealing memoir glowing with vibrant details and held together by an irresistible hook. The whole Clan joins in on “9 Milli Bros.” (produced by MF Doom), which soars atop a terrific piano-and-strings backdrop. As usual, the album is drenched in old-school soul; few artists approach this sound with as much gusto and natural ease. Tracks like “Crack Spot” and “R.A.G.U.” (the latter produced by Pete Rock) somehow blend rather unsettling subject matter with smooth, fetching, ‘70s-style R&B productions. On “Whip You with a Strap,” which builds on Luther Ingram’s 1970 hit “To the Other Man,” producer J Dilla uses a sped-up Ingram sample to provide the perfect setting for Ghost’s unique childhood reflections. “Back Like That” (with Ne-Yo) is a slow jam with a slinky chorus and a rather threatening Ghost flow. Despite a steady parade of producers, Fishscale is cohesive and absolutely thrilling. (This iTunes edition includes a collaboration with Ice Cube that doesn’t appear on the CD.)

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