Ghostface Killah, Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006)
The new Ghostface album won't be out till a week from next Tuesday, but I managed to finagle a copy because people at record companies respect me as a prominent media organization and not just someone you pepper with numerous unsolicited emails trying to promote bullshit R&B music anyone would know good and well I don't listen to.
Whatever you do, don't contact me looking for a copy of this. Especially if I don't know you like that. You could be the cops.
THE RETURN OF CLYDE SMITH
A menacing-sounding intro featuring the Internets' favorite inept blogger and erstwhile ballet instructor Clyde Smith.
An epic tale of running up in someone's apartment not unlike whatever the first track from Bulletproof Wallets was called.
A flip of some old kiddie record about the metric system. Ghostface certainly seems to know quite a bit about drugs.
Pretty crazy. Sounds more Just Blaze than MF Doom. The chorus is some jig doing a not-very-faithful impression of Mickey - you know, Burgess Meredith from the Rocky movies.
A six-second snippet of "Ironman" cartoon dialogue.
9 MILLI BROS
Features all 9 members of the Clan, including the late, great Ol' Dirty Bastard. Sounds a lot more like an MF Doom record though. U-God mentions something about Damon Dash.
Somewhere between an actual song and a skit. Not particularly worthwhile.
HEART STREET DIRECTIONS
Followed by an actual skit, of all things. At least this one's kind of amusing, in the most juvenile manner possible. Ghost even mentions the "Hershey highway." Nullus.
COLUMBUS EXCHANGE/CRACK SPOT
Oh goody, another skit. At least this is more of a "song skit" than an "extended dirty joke."
Features the chipmunk-looking Raekwon. The beat is very MF Doom, with a weird drum stutter effect and strings jacked from some awful R&B record.
BAD MOUTH KID
Another skit. At least this time it leads into the next track. How thoughtful.
WHIP YOU WITH A STRAP
About how kids don't get beaten anymore. The beat (if you can call it that) by J Dilla is surprisingly lackluster.
BACK LIKE THAT
The lead single. Not typically my kind of thing, but I can't fault the execution.
The old Pete Rock-produced single from like 6 years ago. Still as meh as it was back then.
CLIPSE OF DOOM
Weird-sounding, but awesome. Sounds like one really long-ass guitar note or something.
A quasi-sequel to "Camay," featuring Cappadonna, Shawn Wigs (the white one, right?) and Trife, who's all over this album. The beat is some weird shit not unlike "Clipse of Doom," but a lot more grating.
DOGS OF WAR
This time it's Cappa, Trife, Raekwon and Sun God, who sucks. The beat, a weird flip of "Family Affair," is kinda repetitive, without there being any real chorus or anything.
A song-skit about getting a haircut.
Followed by yet another skit, which leads into the next track.
Ghost rhymes over that "You're a Big Girl Now" song not unlike he did "La La Means I Love You," or whatever it's called.
MF Doom obviously had Ghost watching the Adult Swim network or some shit. Ghost's rhymes are fascinating, but the beat is pretty flat. In fact, Doom's contributions to this album in general are pretty hit or miss.
THE IRONMAN TAKEOVER
A five-second snippet of "Ironman" cartoon dialogue.
Ghost in sentimental, "All That I Got Is You" mode. The track and the R&B singing on the chorus are uber-sappy to the point where Ghost's verses couldn't hope to save them.
A quasi-remake of "Somebody's Gotta Die" over the worse production I've heard since the last time I tried to listen to the Lex Diamond Story. A true abortion.
COMMENTS: I'd put this somewhere between Bulletproof Wallets and The Pretty Toney Album, leaning towards Pretty Toney, but still falling a bit short. A lot of it's really weird as far as the production is concerned. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this sold even less than The Pretty Toney Album, which is sad.
BEST TRACKS: "The Champ" "9 Milli Bros" "Clipse of Doom"