ALBUMS REVIEWS / POP : Killah, RZA Team to Produce Solid ‘Ironman’

*** 1/2



Razor Sharp/Epic


As he’s proven on Wu-Tang Clan gems such as “4th Chamber” and “Wisdom Body,” Ghostface Killah has a miraculous rhyme flow and a gift for metaphors that expand the imagination.

On “Ironman,” Clan musical mastermind RZA melds his colorful blend of Memphis horns, haunting, old-school soul vocals and heavy drum beats with Ghostface’s stark lyrics to create an album with iron-plated cohesiveness that’s nearly impregnable.

Songs such as the stripped-down “Daytona 500,” the melodic “After the Smoke Is Clear” and the rocking “The Faster Blade” hit the eardrums and the conscience from all angles. But the album’s most surprising moment comes with the heartfelt “All That I Got Is You,” a dedication to the rapper’s family and tragic background that even surpasses 2Pac’s “Dear Mama” in emotional impact.

Mary J. Blige warbles in the background as the Staten Island native tells of growing up in a tiny apartment with 15 people, including two brothers with muscular dystrophy. In the process, Ghostface Killah removes the iron mask to reveal sensitive eyes, a survivor’s spirit and a philosophical heart.

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