Was this the album that got lost in a flood and had to rerecorded? It sure sounds like it was dredged up from the Staten Island sewers. Something about Mr Mef’s debut feels undercooked, or perhaps overhashed, as the beats are too dusted to stand out and Meth’s own flow is floundering in his early trivial rhyme style. Somehow, between here and Wu-Tang Forever, he would find that genius headbanger boogie flow that provided some of the deepest verses in the crew, but on Tical, he’s still in M-E-T-H mode, too caught up in aimless rappity-rap to provide those razor sharp darts. This album reminds me of Redman’s Dare Iz A Darkside, although that one burns nicely whereas this one just canoes. Dare‘s similarly blunted mix was livelier, Sermon’s beats funkier and Red’s flow more distinctive. This album is just dull – I usually find myself tapping out midway through side one. Meth’s stab at mainstream appeal (“All I Need”) is sappy and simplistic, while the battle with Raekwon just fizzles out (for a proper battle of Wu verses, see GZA’s “The Duel Of Iron Mic”). It’s like a really down buzz with Meth just filling up bars, finishing up tracks and not really saying anything. “Mr Sandman” is fun though – check out RZA’s odd beat and Meth’s 5% slang (“peace to the number seven/everybody else get the four nine three eleven”).