GZA's (or Genius, Gary Grice...whatever) latest release boasts some of the best production I've heard in a long time. It includes a roster of Jay "Waxx" Garfield, BOOLA, Bink, Arabian "Q-Base" Knight, Tyquan Walker, Allah Mathematics, Jaz-O, DJ Muggs, RZA, and GZA himself on the cuts. If you think you've heard good usage of strings before, wait until you hear "Auto Bio."
"Legend of the Liquid Sword" features usual guest appearances from the extended Wu-Tang family, and this includes originals Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, and RZA. Sadly, O.D.B. is nowhere to be found, and Method Man must be off making more "Friday" rip-offs and bad deodorant commercials with Red Man.
While the guest emcees are solid, one is never allowed to forget that this is GZA/Genius' show. He sounds focused and ferocious throughout the album. As he brags, his lyrics speak "with non-additive slang. It's all actual thang." Such is all the more refreshing when compared to those currently topping the charts.
The only glaring slip-up on "Legend of the Liquid Sword" is a gratuitous attempt at recreating "Wu-Tang Clan [tune]" on a collaboration with RZA, "Fam (Members Only)." It just sounds like they're trying too hard.
The standout tracks are "Stay in Line" and, especially, "Fame." The latter has a much more classic Wu-Tang feel than any faux throwback; it ventures into the promised land of celebrity name word plays. You will need to look no further than here to find out about "Abraham's Lincoln" or "Brad's Pitt," and that is something in which I surely find comfort.