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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on April 12, 2014
Remember Guns N' Roses smashing debut, Appetite for Destruction? Remember the less impressive Use Your Illusion LPs released afterwards? Well, although the genres of GNR and WTC are almost entirely different the situation is the same here. Both groups achieved success with their first phenomenal official releases, but they seemed to had hit a sophomore slump with their double LPs that could have been just as great had they been cut down to one album. Like the Use Your Illusion LPs, there are quality songs present on Wu-Tang Forever, but there are also a lot of songs that are just plain mediocre. My preferred top cuts off this album based on both beats and lyricism are: Triumph, Projects (International Remix), Reunited, Cash Still Rulez, Visions, and High as Wu Tang Get. The laughably bad tracks are Black Shampoo (a song about the misogynist ODB bathing and manicuring his lady), Wu Revolution (a self-righteous audio clip about choosing Islam as the way to enlightenment), and Second Coming (An out of place R&B song especially since the track Intro claims the rappers should specifically exclude R&B from being implemented into Hip-Hop). Furthermore, RZA seemed to have rushed the beat production so most of the album's beats just don't compare to those on 36 chambers. On Wu-Tang Forever, much of the lyrical input seems almost as uninspired as the beat production. I'm not entirely discrediting the lyricism, but it's quite obvious on this album which MCs have a better flow. In addition, there appears to be a lack of strong unity the MCs once had most likely due to putting more energy and effort on their solo works released before this one. Regardless of the mediocrity, don't pass on this album,but rather give it a listen and make a playlist from your preferred tracks.
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on June 23, 2004
This album was pretty good; it didn't seem to me that they were falling off at all. But I do know why this album was kinda considered as a sophomore-jinxed album. First, it's very hard to top 36 Chambers, as it was their breakthrough album. So once you broke through, what more is there to do? Either keep doing you or experiment with some different sounds, which is what RZA was doing with more soulful samples and singers like Tekitha (remember her?). Fans expected more of the kung-fu samples to dominate the album. Second, can someone say the word, "OVERKILL"? I don't care how much of a Wu fanatic you are, there are nine members in the group, plus CappaDonna and their other Wu extended family like Poppa Wu, all on over two hours of material. It's too much of a good thing, like having Burger King for seven days straight. Last, only Disc 2 is the most memorable with songs like "Triumph", "Heaterz" and "M.G.M.". Disc 1 is okay, not wack, but okay. To tell you the truth, I only played this album for much of 1997, but when newer albums came out, this one got lost in the shuffle.
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on April 2, 2004
This double CD was met with some criticism, from fans and critics alike. But the Wu-Tang Clan dropped a serious fem in 97 with this album. Wu-Tang Forever is one of the best double albums ever released, along with the double albums from 2-Pac and Biggie. The Wu was still in their prime with this one, and what resulted was one EXCELLENT album. Here's the review:
Disc One
Album Highlights: The entire album EXCEPT the intro, and Maria.
Production: Thumbs up
Lyrics and Subject Matter: Thumbs up
Originality: Thumbs up.
Disc Two
Album Highlights: Triumph, Impossible, Deadly Melody, Projects, Bells of War, The M.G.M., Duck Seazon, and Hellz Wind Staff
Lyrics, Subject Matter, and Originality: The same as above
The Last Word: This album is AWESOME. ALthough some of the songs should have been left off, this is still a tight effort from the Wu. Strongly recommended.
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on December 17, 2002
I wasn't at all impressed with this album(s). Enter the Wu-Tang was a milestone in the hip-hop era with one great track after another and this is just... weak. There are a few decent songs here, including "Reunited," "The City," & "It's Yours," but this double album could easily be pared down into one. The only real gem here is "A Better Tomorrow." It's easily one of the best rap songs I've heard in a long time. The single, "Triumph" in my humble opinion, just plain ... The Clan could use not only a real dj, but a producer who can tell good songs from filler garbage.
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on June 1, 2004
I lost didc 2 of the set 5 years ago @ a rave,but I like the first one just as much(the hits don't mean nothin when you're talkin wu cause anything them boys touch turns platinum!)get their 1st,3rd,and 4th cds too as well as the new ghostface,meth,rza,and reakwon albums -it'll only dissapoint the stupid(to quote a song"...the dumb are mostly intruiged by the sound...")the lyrics make or break a cut and it's all very intelligible here!
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on September 26, 2003
I just want to let you ALL know, Wu-tang clan has never " fallen off"? What you are calling " Falling" is simply the Wu-tang style metamorphasis. Let me break it down for all yall... If you have been a Wu fan for a while you will reconize what im talking about.. but heeeeeeeeeeeeere we gooooooo....
Their first style- probably the most trademark, The Kung-fu sampled, dark/ chamber style beats introduced by the infamous Rza. There are many examples of this - Enter the Wu, Cuban Linx, umm Liquid Swords, Pillage ( yuck).. anyway- this seems to be the most popular, and definetly was reconizable. The rugged beats with dark lyrics seemed to have faded away...
2nd style - THIS album - kind of their inbetween, its very weird, i can't really have a grasp on the sound they were going for on this album, we really caught them in the midst of experimentation - you can tell by such songs as, Older godz, Triumph ( kinda), MGM, Cash rules, Projectz especially, they were slightly leaning toward glamour and MGM type apollo sounds ; lyrics werent rugged, more of a ghetto pride, superior black supremist who obtains the glitter and glamour of money and respect --- SIDE NOTE: if you want to see the final result of this style, check out Ghostface killah - supreme clientele ( wow, great album- good job ghost)
3rd style ( cuz i only got 1,000 words)
now i like this the best, RZA did more experimenting with Soul, mo-town samples, with that classic Wu-sound mixed in... kind of hard to explain but you can see examples with " Hollow Bones" off " the W" and RZA - " Be a man" he kind of slowed down the beats, and made the lyrics more rugged like the first style, but it sounded tight mixed in with the samples.
Bottom line - What would you have rather seen Wu do, Experiment with their style, change it up a little, possibly break up into numerous solo projects and develope individual sounds....
OR simply sell out to the ice shattered, female degrading, mainstream pop that has now taken the name Rap??
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on July 24, 2003
The start of this album to many would be considered boring and to me it even gets a little long. It is very interesting and it feels like church and makes you feel power in many ways. This ends in the kun fue that is on every wu album and in a way this is my favorite skit of the kun fue. As you hear the first track Reunited it seams like this would be 36 chambers with just more tracks (just saying how good this is). After that the beats stay as good but that whole thing that RZA is doing with sounds in the backround almost wrecks the songs. Don't worry though that only lasts for a few songs. From Visions till the end of this disc it is amazing especialy Its Yourz. Disc 1 ends short but still ever lasting. Next you put it into your computer and its realy no big deal after all (except for the Raekwon freestyle in his room). Disc 2 starts off with the intro and this is actually very entertaining to hear RZA talk about Wu Tang being true hip hop in its purest form. Then it goes to the majour track Triumph. Words can truly not explain this track, from the confusing rhymes that you must almost put your ear dead on the sterio to understand what they are trying to explain, to the beat that leaves you breathless until the last seconds on the track. And it prety much stays that way just until it gets to dog sh*t. Now believe me this track is very good because of the beat and just having ODB have another one of his own tracks. But to me this could have been taken off the whole album because of the feel. Then on in it just stays like Triumph with perfection.
Most will tell you that this could have been better than 36 chambers by a long shot if tracks were taken out. I'll tell you that same thing. But then it would be just minutes over the length of one disc and that would be even worse in some ways. I'll even add that if wu made an album back in 94 or 95 then it would be even more amazing because of tracks like winter warz, ice cream, and many others on the solo projects. But in the end you must think about The Source because a question Im still asking myself today is what would they have given this classic the 5 mics it deserved (mostly because of originality) or the 3 mics that some give this because they expected better.
But just think about this the closest album to this is Outkast's Aquemini and that got 5 mics doesn't hip hop in it's purest form deserve reconizationand for Wu-Tang Clan's MCin. Think about this you cat in the hat, mother goose, dr suese this hip hop in it's purest form stop tryin to turn rap into r and b aight.
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on January 11, 2003
Enter the 36 Chambers is one of the top 5 rap albums of all time and one of the top music albums ever. Now with that said, Wu-Tang Foverver is more advanced than 36 Chambers (not meaning that its better). The lyrics throughout the WHOLE album is one step ahead anything else they made (except maybe Liquid Swords).
Their is no catchy hook on this one (for better or worse), just great lyrics. Nobody lags, but the ones that really shine on this album is the RZA. For some reason he is just ON. I've never heard RZA like this before (and sadly neither have I heard him like this after). Check this line from
"Severe Punishement" "As the pendulum swings close to the millenum 2000, wickedness is spread amongst my citizens" And his entire verse in "Duck Seazon".
This album is more mature and experimental (check the song structure in Deadly Melody) then 36 chambers wich is why some people might be put of by that album. I can't praise this album enough. This is truly an artistic achievement greatly misunderstood and while a commercially succesful album (mostly due to its hype) its an even more underrated album.
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on December 13, 2002
Wu Tang had a lot to live up to with this second album. The 36 Chambers has gone down as a classic, and like most rappers, having incredible debut albums seems to curse the sequels. "Wu-Tang Forever", though, makes a great effort at living up to its older brother. Unfortunately, it still falls short.
Spanning 2 discs and a total of 27 tracks, all 9 (excluding Cappadonna) members gets a nice big bite out of the pie, my personal favorite being RZA. What really makes this album stick out is the fact that it came out at a time when rap was starting to lose its street credentials and gaining more popularity in the mainstream. "Wu-Tang Forever" put some of the streets back into it, especially with songs like "Severe Punishment", "The City", and of course "Triumph". Every rapper stays on top of their game as they lay down the lyrics. Where it starts to get sloppy though is the beats. As compared to the first, instrumentals have lost their rugged edge and have been replaced with should I say...average rap beats. Kung-Fu flick quotes still run abundant, but maybe if they added more of those into the songs themselves (like they did in "Severe Punishment" and "Hellz Wind Staff") it would sound a lot better. What I REALLY hate about this album though is track 15 of the second CD, "Second Coming". I just don't get it. Nobody raps in it... its just some female voice singing an R&B song. I mean, the other flaw isn't so bad, but me it really hurts "Wu-Tang Forever"'s overall score. I don't know what RZA was thinking when he decided to put this track in the final cut. Bad mistake my friend.
"The 36 Chambers" is something hard to surpass, but unlike most follow-ups, this one has much to be proud of. Maybe the beats aren't exactly there, and "Second Coming" was totally uncalled for, but in the end it is a awesome album. For those of you who are really into the Wu, you shouldn't be dissapointed.
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on August 27, 2002
This album personofies the Wu as we know them, they came to their own on this album and showed the world what their visions were and recorded one of the deepest hip hop albums to date, most of the songs have a deep message to them but it's quite clear. The 1st Disc is by far and away the best of the two, so I can't agree with the one in Spotlight review who said Disc two is the better. The first disc is 11 straight Wu bangers and not the wack Black Shampoo and Maria songs you will find on disc two, it is the hard side. Songs like For Heavens Sake, A Better Tomorrow, Visionz, Severe Punishment, MGM, Reunited, It Yours and a few others bang so hard on the first disc you won't want to switch it. Disc two has it's spotlights too with Triumph, The City and a few other bangers to keep it from being a wash, the falloff is it is too long 16 as compared to 11 on side one and has too many filler songs, luckily it is saved by the songs I mentioned and a straight heater in the song Heaterz (A classic Wu sampled song with so much energy to it it's crazy). The seond disc however falls short and could have been merged with the first one to make a classic 15 or 16 song single CD that would have gotten a straight 5 mics in magazines and reviewers alike. I recommend this one to people who love hip hop with meaning and love lyrics and beats that hit hard as nails, if you are into hip pop and new age stuff you should stay away from this one however because it's over your head, you might find Method Man and the beats entertaining though (Everyones favorite member). Rza says on the beginning it will take folks till 2000 just to get this, and it seems some still haven't gotten their message or deciphered the importance of this album to date in 02. I think they should listen again after a few years and feel how much hip hop has fallen off in the last few years and has no purpose anymore, then realize how special this album is. Pick this up like Rza said and get all the Summer school you need this summer from the 2 disc LP Wu Tang Forever, you won't be dissapointed or have another coaster to put under your beers. Wu Tang Forever........
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