Liquid Swords: The Singles Collection highlights the standout singles from the 1995 classic ("I Gotcha Back," Liquid Swords," "Cold World," "4th Chamber," "Shadowboxing") by placing them on 7" vinyl and pairing each one with a custom 15.75" X 10.25" high end art print, illustrated by Andrew Hem. All of which are housed in a sleek oversized art box with a unique easel back and clear display window.
The fourth Wu-Tang solo album, Liquid Swords is an out and out masterpiece – and the most cinematic album in the collective's history, thanks in part to RZA's clinical production. He digs up film dialogues that are creepier than on any other Wu record before or since; warps soul samples to rid any traces of retro kitch (the disembodied vocal hook on "Cold World" still haunts); runs synth lines that add extra menace, not least with their staccato stabs on the opening title track. The results are a sinister, almost glacial soundbed for GZA to lay his vocals on.
And GZA brought his A-game, his considered, narrative flow coursing through the record – "flowing like liquid metal," as he later put it; sharp like the swords in the film the album borrowed its name from, Legend Of The Liquid Sword. Although every Wu affiliate of the era makes a guest turn on Liquid Swords, it's clearly GZA's show, his ghetto lyrics peppered with both martial arts and chess motifs – memorably reflected in the artwork – as he takes his position as the grandmaster of the group.