July 14, 1997 12:00 PM

Wu-Tang Clan

Listening to a Wu-Tang record is no easy task. Unlike many hip-hop groups that surround their lyrics with user-friendly, recognizable loops and beats, the Clan constructs a much more unsettling sound. The 27 tracks on this overlong two-CD set are moody, dark and often ominous. Some rhythm tracks are built on a single piano note played over and over, giving songs an eerie, off-kilter appeal. At the same time, the nine-man Clan boasts multiple rappers who each brings his own persona into play. Wu-Tang is one of the most popular rap groups of the ’90s, and Forever has a lot to live up to. For most of its 120 minutes it fulfills fans’ expectations. But few groups, no matter how strong, can sustain their creativity for such a long stretch. (Loud)

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