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Ghostface Killah, ‘More Fish’ (Def Jam)

Though its title suggests a bunch of extras and alternate takes, More Fish is anything but an only-for-Ghostface-nerds toss-off. Released just nine months after the splatter-paint beauty of Fishscale, Tony Starks’ second album of 2006 is as lean and compact as its predecessor was expansive. It’s another dimension of Ghost’s genius and arguably his most consistent collection since 2000’s Supreme Clientele.

More Fish is, for the most part, an omnibus of story-songs, with the Wu-Tang MC spinning ornately plotted but tightly delivered tales about everything from global drug-pushing (“Miguel Sanchez”) to the glories of card playing (the Rounders-sampling “Pokerface”). The awe-inspiring peak is “Stones From Greece,” a bizarre account of a man who claims that Jamie Foxx cheated him out of credit for the script of Ray.

As always, Ghostface spits reams of pause-and-rewind color commentary, like “My P.O. is part Creole…I move from Dallas to Philly just like T.O.,” or random exclamations like, “I’m a fisherman, I own this lake!” The producers — MF Doom, Madlib, others — provide remarkably focused tracks, whether they feature in-the-red drum loops (the entire beat from Rakim’s “Juice [Know the Ledge]” gets sampled) or glistening R&B instrumentation that sounds straight out of The Best of Ashford & Simpson. They’re all a perfect canvas for Ghost’s staggering murals.

Now Hear This: Ghosface Killah media player at Def Jam

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