Jonah Weiner
May 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dennis Coles doesn’t rap — he squeals and sobs, riding associative streams of ghetto hieroglyphics so knotted they’d make James Joyce’s head spin. This hits collection spotlights the Wu-Tanger’s brilliant attention to detail and his roughneck sensitivity: ”Camay” offsets round-the-way romance tales with spooky piano tinkles, while the nostalgic ”Child’s Play” is rich, RZA-soul bliss. Other experiments with R&B accompaniment chafe, but Ghost transcends even the blandest gloss with histrionic fire.

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