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The Saga Continues [Parental Advisory]


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Performer Notes
  • 2017's The Saga Continues is billed as a Wu-Tang album, and plenty of major and minor members of the Wu-Tang family are on board for the project, but it's not until you read the liner notes that you find out who the real star of this show is. Mathematics, the MC-turned-DJ who learned the ropes of production from RZA and is said to have designed the Wu-Tang's W logo, produced and co-wrote all 18 tracks on The Saga Continues, and he's learned to replicate the sound of Wu-Tang's classic era with impressive accuracy. He doesn't quite equal the scratchy tension of RZA's peak-period work, but Mathematics fills The Saga Continues with dark, moody beats, atmospheric keyboard patches, snatches of classic soul sides, and samples from vintage kung-fu movies. If this isn't quite a brother to Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), it at least seems like a first cousin, and Mathematics brings his A game on The Saga Continues. Too bad that can't be said for all the MCs on the album. While the cast includes Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Killa Priest, Redman, RZA, and Cappadonna, it often sounds like they were saving their best verses for one of their own albums, and the rhymes often seem scattershot, without giving the album the sharp focus it needs. And though many of the skits on The Saga Continues deal with the raw deal regularly handed to African-American men in the black community as well as in American society at large, the standard-issue braggadocio of most of the lyrics undercuts whatever message Mathematics and executive producer RZA had in mind. As a Wu-Tang album, The Saga Continues is good but not great, but it's a fine calling card for Mathematics, and makes the case that he should be given an album of his own more often. ~ Mark Deming
Professional Reviews
Clash (Magazine) - "You can feel the traditional Wu-Tang aesthetic in full effect right from the start, with a authoritative RZA monologue introducing the project."
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