Wu-Tang Clan, “A Better Tomorrow”

Wu Tang Clan - A Better TomorrowWu-Tang Clan
A Better Tomorrow
WARNER
5/10

It’s been twenty-one years since 36 Chambers, and the Wu-Tang Clan are still catching up. From the re-introductory “Ruckus in B Minor,” wherein the ghost of ODB reassures fans that nothing has changed, to the obligatory “Wu-Tang Reunion,” featuring Method Man unleashing Obama-fied platitudes about how the group has, actually, changed quite a bit (even though he longs for the days of Tical), A Better Tomorrow—their saccharinely serviceable sixth album—is full Wu, through and through. But for something seven years in the making, the LP sounds unstuck in time.

The Clan has always wanted to eat their “C.R.E.A.M.”-filled cake right in front of you, with little care for what it must take to sustain oneself as a Wu aficionado, yet now they’re older, striving for maturity with a greater clarity of vision. This means we get the on-par-with-Insane-Clown-Posse “Miracle,” which un-ironically ruminates, “If a miracle, could save us from / The travesty that we’ve become…” Then what? Everything is in place—Masta Killa probably snuck in verses while hiding in the studio air ducts; Raekwon and GZA effortlessly ooze cool; and energy RZA should’ve sunk into beat-making he wasted on just getting everyone to play nice—but nothing, absolutely nothing, feels right.

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