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Liquid Swords [2 LP]


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Genius/GZA a.k.a. Maximillion, Lou Diamonds a.k.a. Raekwon The Chef, Tony Starks a.k.a. Ghost Face Killer, Lucky Hands a.k.a. U-God, Ol' Dirty Bastard a.k.a. Dirt Megirt, Rolly Fingers a.k.a. Inspectah Deck, Johnny Blaze a.k.a. Method Man, Master Killer a.k.a. Noodles, Killah Priest, Dreddy Kruger, Life (vocals).
  • The song titles of LIQUID SWORDS do not appear in order on the CD package.
  • The acknowledged head of the Wu-Tang Clan, Genius (a.k.a. GZA) delivers the fifth Wu-banger with his sophomore solo album. Musically, LIQUID SWORDS is the Clan's strongest solo release to date, and lyrically, Genius comes correct with a style he describes as "too swift to bite."
  • LIQUID SWORDS contains two types of songs, all backed by the RZA's skillful production. On the one hand, Genius schools the Clan's followers through songs that address serious problems experienced in every day inner-city life. "Cold World," which is backed by whirling wind sound, contains mini-stories that illustrate the misfortunes of gun-slinging in the hip-hop community. "Investigative Reports" goes even deeper in administering the blame, suggesting that drug-related crimes stem from a higher authority. On the other hand, there are the Clan's kung-fu metaphors, which show up on Genius' more Wu-styled songs. On "Duel Of The Iron Mic," he's joined by a number of fellow Clansmen to reinstate the idea that no one can match them, despite numerous attempts to copy their image and concepts. Similarly, the production on songs like "4th Chamber" and "Shadowboxin'" closely relates them to ENTER THE 36 CHAMBERS, and helps make LIQUID SWORDS a complete Wu release.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (11/30/95, pp.66-67) - 3 Stars - Good - "...It's probably the heaviest Wu-Tang production to date....Genius pulls you into his chamber headfirst....LIQUID SWORDS cuts to the bone, another deadly efficient Wu-banger..."

Entertainment Weekly (12/22/95, p.70) - "...an intriguing paradox of wordplay and profanity, juvenilia and wisdom." - Rating: B+

Q (2/96, p.96) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...inventively laid-back sample collage of hip hop that offsets his biting messages...the result is dramatic and hypnotic..."

The Wire (10/01, p.46) - "...Genius trades 'romance' for 'crime'...and his icy skills certainly work better with darker scenarios..."

Option (3-4/96, pp.104-105) - "...Genius' verbalistics evoke that creepy feeling you get negotiating certain inner-city neighborhoods on pitch black nights..."

Melody Maker (12/23-30/95, pp.66-67) - Ranked #42 on Melody Maker's list of 1995's `Albums Of The Year.'

Melody Maker (11/25/95, p.36) - "...the keywords...are synthetic and cinematic....the narrator of these ghostly/ghastly horrorcore tales is on the outside looking in, a voyeur...buzzing off the ghetto misery, wondering how to respond....one of the dozen or so best (G-Funk) albums of the year."

Rap Pages (1/96, p.31) - 8 (out of 10) - "...LIQUID SWORDS presents the GZA as sword-style rhyme originator, holding court over his young disciples....reverential guest appearances from the rest of the Clan...inject the album with some of its most memorable moments....Wu-Tang continue to challenge and confound all expectations of what their music is about..."

Q (Magazine) (p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "GZA's understated tough-guy tales are delivered with laboratory precision and witty street poetry that sounds fresh today."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.107) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[This] sees the Wu Tang man and his producer/cousin RZA at their hypnotic, never-bettered best."

NME (Magazine) (12/23-30/95, pp.22-23) - Ranked #30 in NME's `Top 50 Albums Of The Year' for 1995.

NME (Magazine) (11/11/95, p.46) - 9 (out of 10) - "...The best hip-hop album for years. Fact...The RZA's production...is spooked, creaky, incredibly dense....The tricks he's practised on previous Clan albums...reach their apogee here....Genius' quite brilliant lyrics [have] a complexity, a rush of imagery, a strangely poetic drama of brutality..."
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