20 Watts

20 Watts Ghostface Killah’s Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City by JohnCassillo
Ghostface Killah's soulful experiment is a success

Ghostface Killah's soulful experiment is a success

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Ghostface Killah’s “Paragraphs of Love” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 17/20 Watts

Ghostface Killah’s new album Ghostdini: The Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City is a highly creative and uniquely conceptual work. Ghostface, one of the nine original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, strays far from the venomous battle raps he was dishing out in the early nineties. The love-themed Ghostdini is a marked departure from older themes, displaying his versatility even as a chart-topping artist.

As Ghostface said himself, the album is R&B-inspired, and all of the songs, both from a production and lyrical standpoint, have a soulful and loving feel. Ghostface also recruited a handful of singers to help him with the choruses and progressions on the songs. Appearances by Lloyd, Estelle, John Legend, Adrienne Bailon and Raheem Devaughn provide the album with a coherent feel that strengthens the fluidity between the track listing.

Lyrically, Ghostface has always been very uncanny, with top-notch flow. He has a way of diction and word choice, combined with a slightly slurred delivery that is strangely intriguing and drawing. Though not always completely on tempo, his verse have an original rhythm that makes him meld into the track.

He dishes out claims of beauty on “Paragraphs of Love” and vivid descriptions of courting on the album’s lead single, “Baby.” On the Fabolous-featured “Guest House,” he illustrates a dramatic story of adultery that will keep the listener on the edge of their seats for the full duration of the song. Each track shows the verbose wit of Ghostface, which does not fail to excite.

The production on this album is vibrantly emotional. Austin Garrick gives “Baby” a thumping slow tempo kick and snap, decorated by a bright piano melody that is essentially a testament to Dr. Dre. “Forever” takes a sped-up sample of The Whatnauts’ “We Will Always Be Together” (which was actually used by Rhymefest on the album Blue Collar) and gives it a steady bounce with sporadic sixteenth note hi-hats.

The album’s true gem, however is “Let’s Stop Playing Games,” featuring Legend. Over the groovy congas and sharp keys provided by the multi-platinum production duo, the Hitmen, Ghostface tells a story of approaching a girl with Legend’s stellar vocal backdrop. The track does what quality music does best– evoking an unexplainable feeling in the listener once the play button is pressed.

Overall, Ghostdini is a refreshing conceptual album that is a great addition to any collection. With twelve quality tracks and two bonus ones (a Kanye West remix of 2006’s hit “Back Like That” and a Ron Browz-laced club track “She’s A Killah”), this album gives a lot of bang for the buck.

— Gregory Fitton

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