8 Diagrams

Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. The album belongs to the hip-hop hippie. And an album it definitely is.
  2. Whether they love it or hate it. It is a departure from previous releases and it does focus on melody and guitars and strings, but it is also lush and well-crafted and smart and addictive.
  3. Ghostface Killah is as wickedly esoteric as ever, Method Man sounds reinvigorated and snapped out of his recent slump, and Raekwon, who's been on record decrying 8 Diagrams, is ice-pick sharp.
  4. Of course, in due time--maybe it'll take years--8 Diagrams will sink in as a compelling, well-regarded album.
  5. 8 Diagrams is as exciting as they’ve ever been.
  6. These songs have deep bones, and though they don't always have an in-your-face immediacy, they're worth revisiting.
  7. In the end, 8 Diagrams is a very good album that is best appreciated when taken out of the shadow of the Clan's greatest endeavors.
  8. 80
    On record at least, Wu-Tang have made the comeback of the decade.
  9. 80
    Despite the odds, their fifth album is arrestingly, chillingly good.
  10. Mojo
    80
    Sprawling and dense as it may be, but amid its deranged lyricism and brutal soundscapes, 8 Diagrams vindicates The RZA's devotion to the collective ethic. [Feb 2008, p.100]
  11. The result is the best end-to-end Wu-Tang Clan album since their debut, 15 years ago.
  12. All in all, it’s the usual captivating chaos.
  13. The Wire
    80
    While perhaps not the triumphant return that many fans have hoped for, the murky and dystopic excursions of 8 Diagrams are uncompromising, visionary and unique. [Mar 2008, p.62]
  14. 8 Diagrams is intricate, inoffensive, interesting.
  15. 8 Diagrams is better than most would have expected: a terrific mix of classic Clan grime and enough new tricks to justify Inspectah Deck's claim that "Wu-Tang keep it fresh like Tupperware."
  16. It's a broken diorama, exceedingly imperfect, and as moving for what it isn't as for what it is.
  17. 8 Diagrams is a paradox of track selection and pacing.
  18. When looked at from afar, 8 Diagrams is far more of a success than it is a failure, and years from now, when it is fully removed from the drama and hype, it just may sound even better.
  19. Yeah, that’s 8 Diagrams--a knockabout set rather than a knife to the jugular.
  20. The Wu-Tang Clan are undoubtedly in decline, but given the musical peaks they have scaled in the past, there remains plenty of sublime scenery to observe on the way down.
  21. Despite considerable strengths, the uneven but sometimes exhilarating 8 Diagrams nevertheless suggests that it might have made sense for one of rap's all-time greatest groups to bow out gracefully following the death of ODB.
  22. The much-publicized rift of RZA and his seven other swordsmen glares on 8 Diagrams, production far more experimental and melodic than any prehiatus work. RZA of Renaissance proffers an unequaled vision, and the inability to convince his soldiers to follow suit keeps the disc from being the complete innovation Wu's abbot intended.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. HexS
    Jan 9, 2008
    10
    Best hop-hop album I've heard this decade. Witty Wu-Tang is unpredictable!
  2. Perry
    Dec 13, 2007
    10
    Like drugs. My bloodstream can't get enough. I'm only half joking. It really is like drugs. Be careful.
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    7
    For my incredibly high expectations it was a disappointment. Was an overall good album with a few standout songs such as "Campfire" "WolvesFor my incredibly high expectations it was a disappointment. Was an overall good album with a few standout songs such as "Campfire" "Wolves (with George Clinton)" and a tasteful rap remix of the Beatles classic "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" however i found myself expecting more when i finished the album. Definitely could have been better, but still takes down a vast majority of hip-hop albums released in that year. Full Review »