Twelve Reasons to Die

This "groundbreaking concept album" (as the press release calls it) tells the story of an internecine mafia war, which erupts when Ghostface Killah's alter-ego, mobster Tony Starks, a member of the Deluca crime family, falls in love with "Logan," a woman from the Deluca's circle – and I'm falling fast asleep trying to recount these ludicrous plot details. Ignore the banal "concept" altogether, and focus instead on Ghostface, whose shaggy, breathless flow remains one of pop's most transfixing sounds, whether cooing endearments to the object of his affection ("The Center of Attraction") or spitting out silly drug-trade lyrics ("The coke was brought in from bad Colombian mules"). Younge's production, combining breaks with live instruments, is familiar Blaxploitation soundtrack-style stuff – a touch dull but not intrusive, it doesn’t detract from Ghost's riveting presence.