Wu-Tang Clan – A Better Tomorrow (2014)

Wu-Tang Clan - A Better Tomorrow

Review Tang Clan ain’t nuthing ta fuk wit! Ey yo the Wu is back, straight outta Shaolin.

Okay time to go back to being the whitest person ever.

The legendary Wu-Tang Clan are back with their first album in seven years. A Better Tomorrow showcases 15 new tracks from the influential hip-hop superstars. Fans of classic Wu-Tang will not be disappointed, from the outset the voice of the late Old Dirty Bastard will send shivers down the spine of anyone who has thrown up a W with their hands (you know who you are).

Atmosphere is something that Wu-Tang have always captured with their sound and this latest record is no exception. The production quality is great, Kung Fu samples and all. It would be hard imagining something that RZA has had his hands on coming out with anything other than excellent production quality. Seriously, the guy is amazing.

Some huge names have come out of the Wu-Tang Clan over the years. So many that it was hard imagining them working together again. Part of me wanted some of the bass Method Man used in Tical to sneak into this album. But I’m sure many people’s eardrums are thankful that didn’t happen. Don’t believe me? Max out the bass on your speakers and play Sub Crazy. Although the reunion isn’t breaking ground it doesn’t feel forced at all.

Ruckus in B Minor is a great opener to the album and makes full use of nostalgia. Hearing ODB on this track and on Pioneer the Frontier is a smart nostalgia trigger, but it also reminds the listener of when the Wu-Tang were at their peak.

 

Although Keep Watch is one of the album’s singles it didn’t do much to stand apart from other tracks. Something about Wu-Tang using an auto-tuned chorus didn’t sit right with me.

Preacher’s Daughter is a hidden gem on the album. It’s a great play on Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man and makes full use of samples from the classic tune to create a great song.

Something about A Better Tomorrow feels more mature than anything else Wu-Tang have done before. The last few tracks have some pretty deep lyrics with some Wu philosophy weaved in. Soul samples do sound great and really give the record an adult sound, unlike the Wu of former days. Maybe after earning a bit of cheddar and ageing they’ve just mellowed out a bit.

Overall A Better Tomorrow is a fine album, it has so much that works for it, but it lacks some of the raw energy the group captured when they released Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993.

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