Back in 2013 (feels like long) The Wu-Tang Clan performed Coachella and straight wrecked it. They were amazing, energetic, rowdy and a little crazy. It was maybe the best set of that year and I ate it up. So when I heard they were coming back together under the iron flag to record a new LP, I got very excited. My brain kept saying that the Wu is finally back, after 7 long years. And then it dropped.
A Better Tomorrow is the worst album Wu-Tang has ever made. It's not even close. It feels distant and lazy. The production sounds clean rather than grimey, almost like The Wu forgot who they are and what they do. It doesn't bang, it whimpers. RZA doesn't even bother to take the album by the reigns, leaving nearly half of the production to lesser producers. It leans on live instrumentals at times, but sounds like a poor man's Roots album. Plus the rhymes are rather wack at times, with Meth sounding like an old man, complaining that kids need to pull up their pants. We hardly get any joints with most the crew, and if feels often like they are either drowsy or recorded their bars in their home, far away from the other members. Even the album cover is atrocious. And while there are occasional glimmers of what the Wu used to be, it's buried so deep it's nearly impossible to find. For every "Pioneer the Frontier" there are two songs like "Miracles" that make you want to press skip, and that's not a healthy ratio. Wu-Tang doesn't sound like a crew here, they sound like a boy band. Terrible, utterly terrible. The most disappointing album I've heard in years.