Author Topic: Album Review: Ghostface Killah “Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City”  (Read 810 times)

Lunatic

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http://raptalk.net/website/content/view/1901/54/

Raptalk.Net gets an early listen and look at the eight solo album from Ghostface Killah set to be released on September 29th via Def Jam.

 

I must admit that when Ghostface Killah announced months ago that his new album would follow the lines of a watered down, R&B sound, I grew nervous and worrisome as memories of “rappers stepping out of their lane gone wrong” instantly came to mind. So as I arrived home tonight to an unexpected email from Universal Records with an offer of an exclusive early listen to the album, I decided to take them up on their offer and after a few listens, have put together what in my mind is a pretty detailed and in-depth review of “Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City” which drops September 29th through Def Jam.

Bear with me on the guests and producers, as none of the streaming songs were labeled with such details. We were however able to recognize and pick out certain names, while others were unfortunately left as unrecognizable.

The album starts off with “Not Your Average Girl” and portrays a more mature, unfamiliar sound for Ghostface; needless to say, it does its job by setting the tone for the entire album. With an unrecognizable female singing on the hook, you know what to expect from them rest of the project.

“Do Over” clocks in as track number two and features the first of two Raheem Devaughn guest appearances who starts this one off nicely with his powerful and soulful voice and lyrics; “This is a story of a playa’ who lost his way, such a price to pay, it’s those girls who make them cry, to love, to lose, to plead for a do over” before getting into his hook – setting the tone for a soulful, storytelling track indeed.

Everyone has heard the next track, the single and video assisted “Baby” which comes in at number three and as the second and final guest appearance from Raheem Devaughn. It sure is nice to see Ghostface working with one of the most under rated R&B singers in the industry twice on the album, however the auto-tune vocal added to Raheem’s soulful voice comes off as unnecessary; I must admit I prefer “Do Over” to this one.

“Lonely” features a beat and hook that can be described in one word that I’ve probably already used too often in the early stages of this review – Soulful. Similar to “Do Over”, the hook and feature (done by a male I don’t recognize by voice) dominates much of the song, to the point where Ghostface doesn’t begin rapping until after the 1:30 mark. This track is quite impressive and is surely a standout.

“Stapleton Sex” is produced by Sean C & LV and clocks in as the shortest song of the album, tailing in at less than three minutes, with Ghostface only rapping up until shortly after the two minute mark. With a mellow and laid back beat, Ghostface uses the Sean C & LV instrumental to spit sex tales with quite the detail; triple xxx rated indeed.

It’s right back to the soulful, mature and mellow vibe with track six, “Stay.” Certainly one of my favorites on the entire album, you begin to see a pattern with the overall sound of this project.

The cleverly titled “Paragraphs of Love” does a good job of intertwining both highs and lows of several instruments, and is used to portray the story of Ghost running into the prettiest woman he has ever seen and has a full blown conversation with “Gabbie” throughout the entire song; background vocals and features come from both a singing male and female.

Standout southern producers J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League provides the beat on track number eight, “Guest House.” The theme surrounds Ghostface being unable to reach his wife who has suddenly disappeared from their home at mid-night. Starting the track off nicely by painting the scenery too very much detail of the room he is sitting in as he argues with his own thoughts of what to do, he contacts his wife’s best friend in order to gain an understanding of what happened to her and his wife the night before. As 7am hits and no word from his ol’ lady, Ghostface locates her in the backyard bushes having sex with an unknown man – that happens to be surprise guest rapper/appearance, Fabolous who checks in with a verse spitting his side of the story. This certainly comes off as one of the “harder” and better tracks (although the content still surrounding females).

John Legend features on “Let’s Stop Playing” and brings along his smooth vocals to fit what sounds like a future potential single.

“Forever” follows the same vein and overall sound of the album, coming off like so many tracks before it, as a new soulful and grown up approach from Tony Sparks; definitely worthy of a standout track stamp.

With so many positives thus far, “I’ll Be That” comes off as the worst track at number eleven. With a feature from a very poppy, teenage-like sounding female on the hook (not sure who it is), the song comes off as sounding forced. This is exactly what I was worried about in the first paragraph.

“Goner” gets things back on track with a funky, summertime beat and vibe featuring the softly spoken vocals of R&B singer, Lloyd. This should definitely be used as a single and could have dominated the summer (hopefully it’s not too late for it to make its impact). This actually has such a west coast summertime sound to it that Ghostface can even be briefly heard impersonating a familiar flow and vibe to Snoop Dogg’s classic “Gin & Juice.”

The final two tracks are both labeled as bonuses and come off as either disappointing or as a weird and unexpected selection. The first is the long time ago leaked “She’s a Killah” featuring Ron Browz. Chalk this one up just like “I’ll Be That”, R&B experimentation gone wrong for Ghostface. The second and final bonus track on the album is the “Back Like That” remix featuring Ne-Yo & Kanye West; yes, the same one that has been out for quite some time; by no means a bad song, just an odd choice.

Overall, the album is a nice surprise and mature sound change for a rapper who is closer to 40 than 30. For anyone expecting the typical, hardcore hip-hop sound that the Wu-Tang Clan has brought to the table for so many years, or even a slight reflection of the new Raekwon “Only Built For Cuban Linx 2” album, you are sure to not only be disappointed, but most likely massively disappointed.

However I for one label this as a great album and a much needed mature change for an aging rapper who realizes he can no longer, and shall no longer tell stories of bagging crack or bringing any sort of ruckus. It sure is a breathe of fresh air from Ghostface Killah and does not come off as sounding forced or overly poppy and/or mainstream, which was of course my initial concern. I for one am glad that Ghostface Killah proved me wrong. Go out and support this one on September 29th. A special thanks goes to Robert Nied and the entire Universal Music Group for allowing us an early listen.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 10:43:06 PM by Lunatic 63 »
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eazye

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props for this, I think it'll be a good album
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iQYKq2uupz8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iQYKq2uupz8</a>
 

Lunatic

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props for this, I think it'll be a good album
Thanks! Hope I did a good job..
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SCREWFACE

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That is incredible. Def hyped for this album now, I was a lil sceptical at first, but when i remember how much i loved the track with neo i kinda wonder how it couldnt go well.

Blood$

I have a little more hope for this album now... look forward to hearing it
 

Lunatic

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I have a little more hope for this album now... look forward to hearing it
Hell ya!
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Man On The Moon

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Good shit on the review.

I wanna hear this.
 

Lunatic

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Good shit on the review.

I wanna hear this.
Thanks! It's pretty dope...
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Paul

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Good review, but you focused mainly on the vocals and content and maybe not as much on the production.


Im not sure how i feel goin into this, after playing OBFCL2 alot recently im in that Wu-Tang mode where id like to hear something similar
funkyfreshintheflesh
 

Lunatic

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Good review, but you focused mainly on the vocals and content and maybe not as much on the production.


Im not sure how i feel goin into this, after playing OBFCL2 alot recently im in that Wu-Tang mode where id like to hear something similar
I used soulful a lot lol..that's production for the most part..
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westside159

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That is a Sick ass album Cover .. The Artwork is Fly
 

Paul

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Good review, but you focused mainly on the vocals and content and maybe not as much on the production.


Im not sure how i feel goin into this, after playing OBFCL2 alot recently im in that Wu-Tang mode where id like to hear something similar
I used soulful a lot lol..that's production for the most part..

lol, cool, just wonderin if theres any sample based beats, kinda RZA influenced style
funkyfreshintheflesh
 

13th Duke

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A pretty decent album. It isnt a patch on the other Wu big one from the end of last year (Raekwon's OB4CL II) but it still had some good tracks. Ghost is best on the straight up Wu tracks with the Chef for me though.