It has taken six long years for Meth to bring us his sequel The Prequel. With his collaborative efforts with Redman and his Wu brethren, label delays, and not to mention his blossoming career in Hollywood, Meth‘s solo career has been non-existent. The Ticallion Stallion with his smokey baritone voice and infectious charisma has been the most popular Wu member since they first hit the scene. Yet it has been Ghostface carrying the load over the years, which is tough to do for any one man. Everyone seems to be wondering if Meth‘s long-awaited return will be another adrenaline shot into the Wu‘s faltering heart.

From the outset, it is pretty clear why it has been 6 years. It certainly does not sound as if Meth is particularly inspired these days. Following RZA‘s intro, Streetlife aids Johnny Blaze on the bland title track The PrequelSay What f. Missy Elliot picks up the slack a bit as Meth sounds a bit more interested. But The Hitmen‘s production really doesn’t make this any more than an average club song. Some selections are either middling (The Motto, Tease f. Chinky), or downright terrible, (Who Y’all Rollin’ Wit f. Streetlife, Act Right).

There are some moments when Meth‘s talents shine as brightly as ever however. He sounds energized alongside Busta on the lead-single What’s Happenin. Ludacris joins Meth as they bounce all over The Rodeo and make you wish an album together was in the works. He slows his roll and wins some more style points as he flows over some guitar licks on the Kardinal Offishall-assisted Baby Come On. Fellow Toronto representative Saukrates lends his talents to Never Turn Back which starts off with some promise but never really comes together. What I hoped would be a nice posse cut dedicated to the sticky green (We Some Dogs f. Redman, Snoop Dogg), turned out to be a pretty boring misogynistic romp over a positively awful beat. The Turn is certainly a turn for the better, sounding like Meth and Rae were inspired by Ghost‘s last opus. That goes double for The Afterparty, but then again Ghost is featured and that should explain it. That isn’t a complaint by the way, it’s a dope track.

I’m not one of those people that are mad at Meth for his venture to Hollywood, or for his mainstream appeal. From the first time I heard Method Man I thought he was an ill emcee, and I still do. I loved Tical and I liked Judgement Day, especially because he tried to do something different. With Tical 0: The Prequel is seems like he just tried to make an album. It is evident throughout the album that Hott Nicks just isn’t as interested as he used to be in rocking the mic. Why else would you have 16 guests over 17 tracks? Nevertheless, Meth is the high point of the album because even at 50% he is damn good. The production is where things really lack and the downfall of the album. The Prequel is certainly an appropriate title because this album is a step back.