[url=/artists/110993.htm]Wu-Tang Clan[/url]'s most soulful lyrical acrobat returns with mostly quality gear...

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Ghostface Killah : Bulletproof Wallets

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Ghostface Killah : Bulletproof Wallets

Ghost’s most appealing quality is a sensitive,

vulnerable side which few of his Wu compadres, never mind rappers in general, risk exposing without a

qualifying macho swagger. Take G-funk smooch ‘Never Be

The Same’, a pure bleeding-heart lovesick yarn

featuring Raekwon and Carl Thomas. Ghost is a straight

soulman at times, but more Marvin Gaye than Barry

White, even on oiled-up shagfests like the scented

porno-groove of ‘Strawberries’ or the silk-sheet

seduction saga ‘Love Session’.

Deep inside these

agonising, sincere, cheese-free R&B shuffles it is

sometimes easy to forget that we are in the Wu-Tang

warzone. But elsewhere, the body armour gets a full

workout, on propulsive military hood-raps like

‘Hilton’ or the squalling juggernaut lollop of ‘Juks

(Pop Your Collar)’, where Ghost warns [I]”you’re fucking

with the metaphor kingpin”[/I] while his splendidly named lieutenants Trife and Superb watch his back.

‘Bulletproof Wallets’ is a solid album, not as lively

as the Killah’s 1996 solo debut ‘Ironman’, but more

consistent than last year’s ‘Supreme Clientele’.

The production is assured, never falling back on

clipped, clichéd, off-beat Wu-loops. Ghost‘s lyrics

are always worth a second and third listen too: [I]”We

laptop niggaz,”[/I] he booms at one point, [I]”like a Wesley

Snipes movie on a Sunday in Bermuda”[/I]. Right you are, Ghostie, me old mate.

Only one serious gripe: where is the nifty Isaac Hayes

duet from the US-released album? Huh? Otherwise, hats

off to the metaphor kingpin, the sultan of simile and

quite possibly the wonderful wizard of allegorical

conceit too.

Stephen Dalton