There was once a time when Wu-Tang Clan ruled, hailed by many as one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time. Now, 25 years after their debut, Enter The Wu-Tang, their legacy is still being crafted. However, you can’t help but feel that The Saga Continues is an unravelling of that legacy, rather than an addition to it.
In just 50 minutes you’ll drift through 18 drizzly and meandering songs- and while your attention won’t be grabbed for a single moment of it, you’ll hardly have a second to breathe either. That’s not to say that the album races at an aggressive speed. It’s more of a slow, constant inhale, culminating in a heavy release of toxic vapour, as your body beats at a steady, militant pace.
While the mixtures of voices and styles as members of the Wu-Tang Clan sporadically dip in and out gives The Saga Continues a real diversity, the album’s greatest strength comes in the form of its well-regimented production. It’s a testament to DJ Mathematics, who takes over the production of the album instead of the legendary RZA (who charitably turns up for a mere two minutes of proceedings). Nevertheless, it’s ever so slightly dull, and the contributors sound disconnected as if they randomly turned up to the studio on whatever day they had free that month.
There isn’t a particular moment of brilliance, a song that slaps the air out of your mouth. No. The Saga Continues is a mood, a feeling, an experience that relies on the whole, not the individual. But this lack of star quality means that, ultimately, there is very little reason to revisit the saga once you’ve come to its damp conclusion.
So, if this is the continuation of the saga, let’s hope it has a much better end.