Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The 20 Best Albums of 2007 - Ghostface Killah: "Big Doe Rehab"

20.  For weeks (thanks to the new reality of album leaks) hardcore Wu-Tang Clan fans have been divided into two camps; those who like 8 Diagrams and those who don't. While there are a myriad of underlying reasons why the Wu's first album in six years came to be so divisive, there is a simpler explanation. Sometimes familiarity is a virtue.

With so many of the greats from the glory years of the 90's fading away, don't be surprised if fans aren't always receptive when a band dabbles in experimentation. RZA failed to recognize this when he crafted the music for 8 Diagrams, giving fuel to the idea that the Wu-Tang Clan has lost a step. Thankfully, Ghostface Killah is here to remind us that not all of the Killer Bees forgot what put them on the map.

Indeed, Ghostface follows up the exceptional Fishscale and less excellent (but still good) More Fish with Big Doe Rehab, another gem that plays to his strengths. Constant boasting about his gangster credentials. . .check. Hyperbolic drug references. . .check. Beats that blow the headphones off your ears.  . .check. The formula is simple, but Ghostface couldn't care less. He knows his limitations and isn't about to to mess with a good thing. And in all honesty, his lyrical delivery doesn't exactly lend itself to reinvention.

Sometimes we don't give enough credit to artists who recognize when they are out of their element. On Big Doe Rehab Ghostface elected to showcase his craft rather than redefine it. Perhaps a thank you is in order?

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