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Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump

De La Soul
Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump
Tommy Boy

Eleven years ago, the Long Island trio De La Soul resisted the mainstreaming of rap and changed the genre with skit comedy, offbeat lyrics and ingenious samples. De La Soul was the first successful group from New York's innovative Native Tongue collective, which also included the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School and Black Sheep. Sadly, almost all the Native Tongue acts no longer exist; only the Jungle Brothers and De La Soul remain. De La Soul's first album in four years, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump, restores the best qualities of Native Tongue hip-hop: the wit, the lovably crusty and irreverent attitude toward the clueless record industry and the preference for obscure samples. Highlights include duets with Chaka Khan, Redman and the Beastie Boys, a hilarious series of skits poking fun at ghostwriting in hip-hop and "The Art of Getting Jumped," a tale of international club brawls that brilliantly samples an accordion tune composed by Brazilian cult favorite Tom Zé. What other hip-hop group samples Brazilian forro? (Jim Aquino)

What You Whispered

David Wilcox
What You Whispered
Vanguard Records

Modern folk-pop figure David Wilcox demonstrates a tremendous ease of skill with his inviting guitar playing. His agreeable songs offer a mellow sense of soul and sophistication infused with earthy wisdom and philosophy. Warm and comforting, Wilcox's quiet vocals (often compared to James Taylor's) and thoughtful lyrics make him a standout in his genre. On this, his eighth album, he's backed on vocals by the acoustic pop band Jars of Clay. Elegant in its seeming simplicity, this contemplative recording, made in his home studio in Maryland, has a spontaneous, homespun quality. Highlights include the lovely "In the Broken Places," the complicated "The Inside of My Head," the haunting "On Your Way Back Down" and the moving "When You're Ready." The timeless album is a sheer pleasure from start to finish. (Sarah Quelland)

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From the August 24-30. 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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