8 Diagrams

Studio Album by released in 2007
8 Diagrams's tracklist:
Take It Back
Get Them Out Ya Way Pa
Rushing Elephants
Unpredictable (feat. Dexter Wiggle)
The Heart Gently Weeps (feat. Erykah Badu, Dhani Harrison & John Frusciante)
Wolves (feat. George Clinton)
Gun Will Go (feat. Sunny Valentine)
Stick Me for My Riches (feat. Gerald Austin)
Starter (feat. Sunny Valentine & Tash Mahogany)
Weak Spot
Life Changes
Tar Pit
16th Chamber (O.D.B. Special)

8 Diagrams review

All eight Wu-Tang Clan members have taken part in working on the album

After a six year hiatus (the last album Iron Flag was released back in 2001) New York band Wu-Tang Clan finally releases its next creation to make a huge fan base happy. During the last several years most of the Clan's participants have pursued solo careers, and in 2004 their number reduced by one – one of the founding members Ol' Dirty Bastard deceased. This year marking the third anniversary of his death the rappers release a new album 8 Diagrams with a title again connected with a kung fu movie. All eight members RZA, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, U-God, Method Man and Masta Killa have taken part in working on the album. All in all Wu-Tang Clan has recorded about 50 songs, but there proved to be only fourteen best ones to make it to the final record 8 Diagrams with two extra tracks that will appear on certain album editions only. The screening was evidently tough for there are no failures on 8 Diagrams, and each of the members has put out maximum of strength. Although Wu-Tang Clan is hardly able to repeat the success of its most smashing 36 Chambers, the new record has proved to be much more successful than many could expect.

Aggression, despair and self-esteem on 8 Diagrams

Throughout the album it is clear that the most worrying thing for all of the members is still the loss of one of their brothers Ol' Dirty Bastard, and many tracks have the sounds of his voice in the background. This mood reaches its climax on the longest track Life Changes lasting over seven minutes, on which every member of Wu-Tang Clan pays tribute to their late friend. On the whole it is hard to single out a particular song on 8 Diagrams for each of them is recorded in the Clan's best traditions: much of aggression, despair and self-esteem. The only exception is rather single The Heart Gently Weeps, on which the rappers are joined by a whole constellation of vocalists Erykah Badu Dhani, Harrison and John Frusciante. The source of the song is The Beatles' creation While My Guitar Gently Weeps, therefore the single offers much more softness and a certain restraint unlike the rest of the album which reveal a new side of Wu-Tang Clan who is always tough and uncompromising. Whereas such songs as Unpredictable performed with Dexter Wiggle, Wolves featuring George Clinton, Gun Will Go refined by Sunny Valentine's vocals and Method Man and Raekwon's hardcore rapping are all brilliant examples of what Wu-Tang Clan has become acknowledged as one of the most influential collectives on the world scene. And of course another composition with a speaking name 16th Chamber O.D.B. Special again impresses with the power of emotions proving that Wu-Tang Clan will never forgets its heroes.

An artful sample usage and a splendid production

The central figure in Wu-Tang Clan today are naturally the founders RZA and GZA, and also the ones that are actively and successfully pursuing solo careers, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and Method Man. Yet when they get together the result is never disappointing. Still pleasing with an artful sample usage RZA and GZA demonstrates a splendid production which is for a long time now a source of inspiration for a great number of successful performers and producers. Taking into account that the collective has lately released only best-of collections, and its most significant albums have remained in the past, the work on 8 Diagrams have proved a real challenge. To the critics' surprise the record has not only outshone all the latest works of the rappers but practically approached the success of the late 90's. The bands unity has done its job this time, and the talent of each member has found reflection on tough, direct and true-to-life lyrics, a beat that is worth being admired and the vivid and unusual arrangements. Hopefully the next pause will not take that long and as soon as the guys finish working on their following solo creations they will continue the spectacular new era that has begun for Wu-Tang Clan with 8 Diagrams.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (18.12.2007)
Rate review3.83
Total votes - 25

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