April 8, 2007

Method Man - Tical (November 15, 1994)

Method Man's Tical was the first solo album release by any member of the Wu-Tang Clan. (The Genius and The Rza had released material previously, but the Clan hadn't formed yet, so they don't count.) After being featured on the majority of the songs from the group debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Method Man (born Clifford Smith) found himself in the position of "most charismatic" of all nine members (a distinction which he has always taken exception to). He signed a solo deal with Def Jam Records, released Tical to critical acclaim and platinum success, and won a Grammy with Mary J. Blige, for a duet which isn't even on the album (how gangsta is that?).

Tical was fully produced by The Rza, with assists from 4th Disciple and Meth himself. Unlike most of the Wu-related albums today, Tical achieves a singular sound, one which is actually grimier and grittier than the first Wu-Tang album, if that's even possible. Meth seems to go out of his way to write whatever he wants, Q ratings be damned, and the project is all the better for it.


Tical is also notable in that there are no commercial radio-friendly tracks on here at all. No viable singles to be found. Meth got away with releasing "Bring The Pain" and "Release Yo' Delf", but rumor has it that Def Jam bribed Meth with a Cadillac or something to remix "All I Need" into the mainstream-appealing, award-winning "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By", with special guest star Mary J. Blige. In return, Meth came up with two mixes; the Rza "Razor Sharp" mix, the far superior of the two, and a Puff Daddy remix, which sounded a lot less like ass than you would think.

1. TICAL
There's a rap album intro hidden in here somewhere. Once the drums kick in, Meth takes over your brain waves.

2. BISCUITS
Good extension of Track 1.

3. BRING THE PAIN (FEAT BOOSTER)
The first Wu-related song I ever really paid attention to. It's fair to say that, if I had never heard this song, I may have actually saved hundreds of dollars and thousands of man hours, instead of trying to become a collector of all music Wu. So this would be where the blame game starts.

4. ALL I NEED
The Grammy-winning remix is better, but this version is alright.

5. WHAT THE BLOOD CLOT
A quick one-off verse, and then Meth gets his Rza on and starts reading from his roster sheet.

6. METH VS. CHEF (FEAT RAEKWON)
Great fucking track, even if Raekwon kinda "throws" the fight midway through his verse.

7. SUB CRAZY
A rap song without drums? That's just crazy.

8. RELEASE YO' DELF (FEAT BLUE RASPBERRY)
A rap song with a chorus that interpolates "I Will Survive"? That's just crazy.

9. P.L.O. STYLE (FEAT CARLTON FISK)
From the Nicolas Cage film of the same name.

10. I GET MY THANG IN ACTION
If you find yourself at this point, you either love the Wu or hate them. There is no middle ground; that's how accessible this album is.


11. MR. SANDMAN (FEAT BLUE RASPBERRY, INSPECTAH DECK, THE RZA, STREETLIFE, & CARLTON FISK)
Picture yourself at a club, getting your drunk on, and you spot a pretty girl (with a fine ass, preferably) sitting on a couch across the room. You go to approach her, and the two of you walk out to the floor. The two of you dance, looking into each other's eyes, and you 're just waiting for the DJ to play the perfect song, the one in which your thoughts connect, your bodies get closer, and you just know that the two of you are walking out of that joint together. This is NOT that song; in fact, any girl might slap the shit out of you for even thinking about listening to this while you're with them. However, as a Wu-Tang posse cut (notable as the first not on a group album), this shit knocks.

12. STIMULATION (FEAT BLUE RASPBERRY)
Meh.

13. METHOD MAN (REMIX)
The original (off of the Wu-Tang album) is better, but this remix is passable.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tical is a headscratcher, in that Method Man, the aforementioned "most charismatic" member of the Clan, put an album out of dark, dreary beats and gritty rhymes, and he still retained the title of most popular member. That being said, this album is the best Method Man solo album, period. Even the weak tracks sound better than the shit released today, and that's as much Rza's doing as it is Meth's. These early Wu solo albums make you long for the days when The Rza was a severe control freak.

BUY OR BURN?
Buy this shit; it's not like it's rare. Maybe if enough people bought this album, then Meth would realize that people want to hear him over Rza beats and go back to his roots. If you listened to and loved Enter the Wu-Tang, then this should be the next logical step.

BEST TRACKS: "Tical"; "Bring The Pain"; "Mr. Sandman"

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

19 comments:

  1. This anoter i had to buy, yet was quite upset to hear some wierd track choices....Bring The Pain was by far the stand out track, and still sounds good today, but this is one that i had on vinly, and when i sold all my vinyl i didnt replace on cd like i did so many others...

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  2. AnonymousJune 23, 2009

    Man, this is a sick album.

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  3. AnonymousJuly 04, 2009

    One of the best fuckin albums EVER!

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  4. Guy has so much "swag" on this and that's sayin somethin... the guy just knows how to flow.. i don't think i'll ever hear anyone that captures that method man feel... i was crackin up on the "i'll fuckin, i'll fuckin sow your ass hole close and keep feedin' you and feedinn' you" ahhhhh torture!!! lol.. but the guy is so charismatic.. great album and again ANTOTHER good review..

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  5. Uhm, there are drums on Sub Crazy.

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  6. Not your average drums, but they're there.
    The chorus on 'Release Yo 'Delf' is so useless.

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  7. What's wrong with Stimulation?

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  8. method manJune 10, 2012

    what the hell does he mean when he says ''From the Nicolas Cage film of the same name'' i keep seeing it when reading this blog and it confuses the shit out of me

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    1. He means the comic character..jhonny blaze from ghost rider

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  9. method manJune 10, 2012

    I double the question!

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  10. I like this album a lot. When I hear it I feel as if I'm walking in the sewers, or I'm around at night in some dark alleyway jammin with a couple friends or something. Methtical could've definitely had more guest appearances on here, but I understand how he wanted to shine on a lot of songs, but maybe he could've thrown on ODB and maybe even the Gravediggaz on Mr Sandman, that would've made the song much better! ODB and Poetic (R.I.P both) could've had a back-and-forth verse on Mr Sandman Max you and I both know that would've have been fucking crazy! Great Review!


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  11. AnonymousMay 19, 2013

    There are lots and lots of drums on sub crazy, the coolest song on the album.

    You really need to re-write this review, your early style of just one sentence to sum up whole songs pales in comparison to your reviews nowadays.

    Love this dirty album full of weirdo sounds.

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  12. I get my thang + mr. sandman are the seven of the dopest minutes. rza is not the drumking but on i got my thang he keeps me marching. k|

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    1. "I Gets My Thang In Action" is underrated as hell. And "Mr. Sandman" is one of the more entertaining early Wu posse cuts.

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    2. Found an instrumental version, seems this release http://www.discogs.com/Method-Man-Tical-Instrumental/release/2925427

      "Sub Crazy" instrumental have drums!, real good drumkick that fits perfectly, don't know why RZA removed them from final version. "Biscuits" is the dopest beat never heard its real depth with the lyrics over, but "Bring The Pain" instro doesn't breathe without Meth and Booster. Also it includes never used RZA beat, that was discussed as "Unknown" for a while, so it called "St. Iones Drop" and it's as crazy as its title.

      So one can collect 9 of 13 instrumentals from the album. "Tical", "What The Blood Clot", "Mr. Sandman" and "Stimulation" are still in the vaults if even exist.

      Great listen! And finally I got "I Get My Thang In Action" beat) k/

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  13. wow I thought this album was incredibly weak, especially when surrounded by 36 Chambers, Liquid Swords and Cuban Linx its peer albums

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  14. Regarding your remark about this album: You, sir, are on quaaludes.

    The rest has some merit in it.

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  15. Yeah between Liquid swords, OB4CL, Ironman and Return to the 36, Tical almost has no replay value. liquid swords and Cuban Linx music is timeless. Tical was right before Rza went ham on he boards

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    1. While I agree that OB4CL and (especially) Liquid Swords are much MUCH better, Tical is Method Man at his most pure, and as such, replayable as hell. RZA's production evolved significantly after Tical, sure, but Meth still sounds bananas on here.

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