While it's billed as a Method Man solo album, The Meth Lab is ostensibly an album on which Method Man prominently features his crew. After last year's ill-fated Wu-Tang album A Better Tomorrow, The Meth Lab sounds more like the typically gritty lane we are accustomed to seeing Method Man in. It's Method Man's first release attributed to his name in nine years, and given the ascendance that Wu-Tang peers like Ghostface Killah have attained through taking a collaborative approach to their recent projects, it's understandable that Method Man would deem this the best time to re-enter the chamber.
Meth's trademark raspy voice and inimitable flow patterns are still intact, and he still has enough vocabulary verve to make you smile at a smart line now and then. Meth does seem to be genuinely motivated by surrounding MCs like Hanz On and longtime collaborator Street Life, and there are some notable efforts like "Straight Gutta" featuring Redman, "Another Winter" and "The Purple Tape" featuring Raekwon and Inspectah Deck. However, Meth's efforts are let down by other factors. Too often, the album is weighed down by pedantic, average beats and too many run of the mill guest verses, indicating Meth's generosity is a bit of a weakness. Ultimately, it dilutes The Meth Lab's potency. (Tommy Boy)