Only the Cash Money label -- who issue Screwed & Chopped versions of their titles a decade or so after the original releases -- have a worse marketing plan than the Wu-Tang Clan's house label, Think Differently. This 2009 instrumental album relates to the 2003 release The World According to RZA, a European-based album that wasn't even released in RZA's homeland. To be fair, Wu-Tang and RZA fans are always open to alternate versions, while aspiring producers who think the man is a genius seek out every instrumental crumb they can find. They should be warned, though, that the tapes used here are a bit muddy-sounding; check the crisp sound of the synthesizer in the vocal version of "Mesmerize" and the difference is obvious. Why the original intro with all its dialog is included is anyone's guess, and just about the time this album seems like an everyday instrumental release with the vocals simply stripped, "Hotel" comes along with an unheard beat, although it could be a primordial demo version of the vocal album's "Ich Weiss (On My Mind)." The last quarter of the original album is ignored and despite what it says on the cover, the melodies are "deadly" but hardly "new." Obviously, this for mega-fans only.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries