The Saga Continues

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ghostface Killah - Adrian Younge Presents: 12 Reasons To Die Album Review by Wu-International

12 Reasons To Buy Reason 

1: Ever since “Fishscale”, Ghostface’s albums were … well not really disappointing but they were just too interchangeable and none really stood out, did they? It seemed Ghost had already realized this himself, trying to break out of his musical mold by having a go at an R’nB record (“Wizard of Poetry”) or do group projects (Wu Massacre and Wu-Block). However, it wasn’t till he teamed up with Soul Temple and Adrian Younge that he really hit bullseye: this album is easily his best work in ages. Give it a spin and there’s a good chance you will agree. Reason

 2: Responsible for this artistic triumph is Adrian Younge, a young multi-instrumentalist and quite simply a supertalent who many people will be thrilled to discover through this album. Younge’s talent is not only noted through his mastery of a wide range of instruments: it’s said that Adrian played over 30 different instruments on this album so have fun at trying to find and recognize them all! But also by his musical vision as a producer and as the artistic director of this whole project, Younge shows his enormous dedication and talent: be it storyline, concept, artwork, music … everything was handled by Younge with a touch of brilliance. Reason

3: Ghostface has always been a great storyteller so when Bob Perry’s idea to come up with a concept album started to take form, he naturally was the MC to step to. Hand this vet a gothic horror story about the rise and fall of a maffioso, love, friendship getting tested to the bone, betrayal, some supernatural elements to provide the ultimate revenge resulting into a murder frenzy and mayhem … and you can be assured Toney will go all out to deliver the goods. In every song it’s clear Ghostface had a blast in the booth painting the scenes of this musical movie. Lyrically Ghost is on point from front to back. Reason

4: The music is provided by Venice Dawn, Adrian Younge’s band. Just as its leader this band bursts with talent and is a well-oiled machine more than equipped for the task that Younge and Soul Temple set out for them. Though more than able to blow everyone away with a wall of sound, the band plays the music very subtle, even minimalistic and almost subdued never getting in the way of and fully serving each scene/track. Something which I am sure will surface and impress us even more once we get the instrumental album that comes with this release. Reason

5: As if one concept album and an equally interesting instrumental version wasn’t enough, Soul Temple decided to serve us even more as we get a complete free extra version of this album with “The Brown Tape”, produced by Apollo Brown. I am yet to hear this second version but nevertheless, thank you Soul Temple ! Reason

6: Enjoyed the Delfonics on “After The Smoke Is Clear” back in 1996? Rejoice! 17 years after “Ironman” we get another Ghostface-Delfonics collabo as William Hart appears on “Enemies all around me”. A song that is also to be discovered in the Delfonics’ version on last month’s “Adrian Younge presents the Delfonics” album. If you like Younge’s sound I advise you to also check this album in the near future, as I am sure you will enjoy it. Reason

7: Speaking of features, a lot of long time Wu fans like their Wu albums “Fam Members Only”. 12 RTD is at their service and serves them verses from Cappadonna, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Killa Sin, U-God (and RZA in voice-over mode). All were equally inspired by the concept as they all match Ghost’s lyrical density to fine result. Just listen to the scene of “The Centre Of Attraction” in which Cappadonna, in utter despair, tries to convince Ghost, who is totally blinded by his love for his girl, that she is a fraud and will betray him for the Delucas . Unfortunately for Cap this only results in Ghostface’s obstinate refusal to listen any further and the situation getting very tense and explosive as a blinded Ghost is ready to put a bullet in his long time buddy for his mere suggestion of betrayal. Love, friendship, betrayal … ancient and universal themes all beautifully bundled into one Great Song. Reason

8: Also tired of the same old, worn-out, no-use skits you can find on about every hip hop album of the last decade? Join the club and get this skit-free album. Younge decided to go the way of ancient Greek theatre, using a Choir to help tell the story and add even more drama to the scenes. The 12RTD Choir forms an extra character throughout the album, commenting on what is happening in the tracks or is yet to come. Just listen to the first song “Beware of the Stare” in which the Choir sets the dark atmosphere perfectly right away and sums up what’s to come. Or even better: try “Revenge Is Sweet” in which they announce “winds of fury” as Ghostface is getting ready to strike down on his enemies. Reason

9: All ye fans of gory, blood splattering extravaganza … when the album reaches its grand finale and all families get what they had coming one by one, Ghostface and his Wu comrades all try to outshine each other by coming up with the most merciless and creative ways to take out their adversaries … fun!!! Reason

10: Not only sonically but also visually we get the 12 RTD deluxe treatment as not only does the album come with artwork that fully captures the concept, the story and its characters will visit us again in the months to come as Soul Temple has invited the cream of the crop of America’s comic book artists to further develop the scenes and story in a “12RTD” comic books series that will get released in 6 issues in the course of this year! Reason

11: The eye for detail on all levels is simply irresistible in my opinion and shows this project’s love for music, comics and film. Some examples: the tracklist on the instrumental album being written in Italian as an ode to soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone, the many mini musical themes and accents in every song that surely will come to light even more on the instrumental score, the incorporation of ODB’s iconic “Ghost-Face- Killaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” growl in “Rise Of The Ghostface Killah” as a salute to Dirty , an instrumental outro to give the audience a chance to absorb the story after the grand finale … Reason

12: Last but not least: this album is Adrian Younge’s means of showing everyone that hip hop in 2013 can be so much more than what it usually is, a way out of mediocrity, a plead for originality, a heartfelt ode to the Art of Music and Film, a labour of love and quite simply … a Masterpiece.

Final conclusion: While the last notes of the outro fade away, it’s undeniable we’ve witnessed a superb project , an album that stands out in Ghostface’s already more than solid discography and one that will give us something to enjoy for the rest of 2013 and years to come. While some hip hop heads might have difficulty in getting into Adrian Younge’s sound and will probably at first prefer the Apollo Brown version because of its more pure hip hop orientation, I can only hope that they take the time to really explore and appreciate this album, as this deserves all the attention it can get. Now, go buy this album before I am forced to send you a vinyl with bloody extras … Feel free to (dis)agree

Source:  Wu-International

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