Ghost is a pain in the ass.

Paul Wong
Scheel”s six pack is as almost as tight as Gravity Kills” upcoming album.<br><br>JOHN PRATT/Daily

Sure he singlehandedly saved the Wu-Tang Clan from the depths of has-been hell where they were headed. Sure his Supreme Clientele album was one of the best to come out of the year 2000. Sure he has had the most successful solo career of all the members of the aforementioned clan. Yet, you would think that with such a fan base that he would do his fans the courtesy of giving us a decent track listing on the back of his albums. Pulling the same mess he did with Supreme Clientele, there is once again an inaccurate, out-of-order listing of the song titles, leaving us to figure which track is which.

First off, if you are purchasing the album with anticipation of the Ghost/Slick Rick collabo, then you may wanna put it back on the shelf. “The Sun” didn”t make it on the American version of the album, despite the fact that it remains listed as the first track. It is a decent joint, so if you must have it, let the Internet be your guide. Ghostface has the extremely rare privilege to string random-ass words together and spit completely nonsensical bars and still win the approval of the crowd. Sure enough, Bulletproof Wallets is the third solo descent into his unique, Clark Wallaby-laden world.

With few understandable lyrics to his credit, Ghostface”s producers can either make or break the song. He found quite a worthy band of trackmasters for the album a couple of newbies and some well-loved veterans. Wu-Tang”s fearless leader and chief producer, The RZA, has his hand at four tracks on the album, the most notable being “Maxine,” a crack story that has Ghost and Raekwon flowing over ill horn-based production that is reminiscent of the Clan days of old. Relative unknown Chris Liggio produces the heavily sampled “Ghost Showers,” a track that aims for the feel of S.C.”s hit single “Cherchez LaGhost.” This is the album”s only club track, so expect it to be bangin” soon on a dance floor near you. The Alchemist has the most impressive turn on the album, producing one of the it”s best tracks, “The Forest,” a sordid fairy tale that was probably conceived during an acid trip.

The R&ampB tracks on the album, “Love Session” featuring Ruff Endz and the lead single “Never Be The Same Again,” with balladeer Carl Thomas, don”t particularly fit Ghost”s personality, and they basically interrupt the feel of the album. As is the case with the latter two songs, there are a number of tracks that are almost completely removed from some original song a production move that is not always effective. In addition, at 16 tracks with five skits and a number of very short songs, the entire album clocks in at an extremely short 46 minutes. Had he killed the aforementioned skits and extended some of the song tracks, it would be considerably more impressive.

To accept Ghost is to accept that he is like no other hip-hop artist so unique that the oddball things that you find on his album don”t require too many questions. Still, he didn”t come with near the power of his debut Ironman, nor did he even match the finesse of Supreme Clientele. In the closing weeks of a dismal year for music, however, folks will appreciate this album an otherwise satisfying morsel of the old Wu-Tang flavor that we will probably never hear again. If you are an avid fan and you can get past Ghost”s ramblings and the screwed-up track listing, then go “head and buy that sucker.

Grade: B-

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