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De la Soul Releases Ninth Album

New Record Doesn’t Recycle Aural Past


he arena-rock stomp of “Lord Intended” sees Posdnuos, Trugoy, and Mase assuming studio mikes for this long-awaited “requel.” The tracks “CBGBs” and “Royalty Capes” (replete with kingly blasts of brass) remind us how the MIA threesome can still flow. Guests include Usher, 2 Chainz, Justin Hawkins, Pete Rock, Jill Scott (the tedious spoken-word intro “Genesis”), and Snoop Dogg (miscast on “Pain”) while former Talking Heads leader David Byrne proves an inspired, ethereal-voiced choice (“Snoopies”).

Perhaps predictably, Blur’s Damon Albarn (“Here in After”) returns the favor for Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.,” the 2005 hit that maximized De la Soul, reintroducing them in the 21st century. Too bad there’s nothing as breakneck or catchy here. While not as risk-taking as Nas, eclectic as N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit of Apollo, assured as Dr. Dre’s Compton, or smile-inducingly organic as 2 Chainz’ ColleGrove, Anonymous is refreshingly not content to recycle the Long Island trio’s aural past.

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