The title of this Staten Island, New York, collective's overambitious sophomore album would seem to say it all: Wu-Tang Forever. But given the group's unhappiness with the unusually mellow tone producer/MC/overlord RZA struck on 2007's 8 Diagrams, the personality void left following Ol' Dirty Bastard's 2004 passing, and a general lack of unity, it's tough to buy into any talk of eternal Wu brotherhood. Fact is, while every Wu member has solo irons in the fire, blustery bruiser Ghostface Killah's records stand head and shoulders above the rest, while Method Man seems to be at his best when rockin' the mic with non-Wu dude Redman. So while it's nice—in an Eagles sense—that these martial-arts-flick-addicted, alias-collecting roughnecks reunite to kick confusing, highly quotable rhymes and tour every now and again, there's an inevitable hollowness to these gestures that makes us wish Wu wasn't forever, you know? Could it be that it was all so simple then? Perhaps. But we're all living in the now. 18+.
Mon., Dec. 15, 8 p.m., 2008