While the highly anticipated opening of “The Man with the Iron Fists” is exactly a week away, the equally anticipated soundtrack has been up for streaming for some time. The album officially dropped this week on October 23rd, and as a cinematic soundtrack, is well worth a listen.
To put it simply, this is a great album with plenty of oriental flutes, imaginative lyrics and an eclectic cast to rival its namesake film. Kanye West, Talib Kweli, The Black Keys and Kool G Rap are just a few of the many featured artists. Of course, good things always come when the Wu gets together and makes music. Although at its core The Man with the Iron Fists OST is just that, a soundtrack, it comes with some genre crossing and flavor records.
“The Baddest Man Alive” features the welcomed reunion of RZA and The Black Keys, and brings forth the rugged, dark sounds and lyrics the film will likely embody. “Black Out,” one of the album’s best, maintains the theme of “Baddest Man Alive,” but with more traditional rap production.
As is often the case with Hollywood films, the mood abruptly shifts toward the
sensual with “White Dress” and “I Forgot to be Your Lover.” Talib Kweli gives a
masterful performance in the metaphorical “Get Your Way (Sex is a Weapon),”
which serves up one of the best hooks on the album before segueing into more of
the raw and rugged sounds of “Rivers of Blood,” “Built for this” and “The
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Forgiving the annoying hook on “Just Blowin’ in the Wind,” the track offers a chance for RZA to lyrically flex with the up and coming Flatbush Zombies. Corinne Bailey Rae’s voice is outstanding on “Chains,” even if the song is a jarring break in the album’s overall sound. “Tick Tock” is another of the lyrical master works of the album, with some of Pusha T’s dopest verses to date.
Again though, this is a soundtrack at heart and, like it or not, “Green is the Mountain” had to exist. It is hard to judge this track on its own merits given its company, but it will likely never get a full play through from much of the listening demographic.
The Clan comes proper in “Six Directions of Shadow Boxing.” This is probably the rawest track on the album (excluding the bonus “Bust Shots”) and illustrates what happens when the Wu gets together on a record.
The album tappers off with “Your Good Thing (Is About to come to an End),” a soulful tune in the vein of “Chains,” and “I Go Hard,” which features a singing Wiz Khalifa.
On the whole, The Man with the Iron Fists soundtrack delivers. There is a track or two for everyone, but expect a fair amount of skipping. This is not a press-play-and-go type of project. That said, the album is definitely worth a listen and if the film is anything like it, it will surely be worth its ticket price.