3 Feet High And Rising is the name of a quiz show on which quirky contestants try to answer ridiculous questions for an unnamed prize. It’s a silly and seemingly irrelevant album concept, but it’s funny and, listening to the set, it’s obvious all De La Soul want to do is have fun.
The matter-of-fact style of their raps, which sometimes sound more like they’re reading aloud to small children, are amusing, but of the twenty-something tracks on the album, only about half are songs. The others are an anything-but-garden variety of short bits and interludes.
my rating : 4 of 5
The problem with this De La Soul album is that there isn’t enough De La Soul on it. Almost every song includes a guest vocalist and often those guests steal the show. The Memory ballad is all about the glossy vocals of Estelle. Drawn is literally a Yukimi Nagano song. Lord Intended becomes a Justin Hawkins solo before the halfway point. It’s conceptually off-putting, odd even, how many bars go by with featured singers taking the place of the guys whose album this is supposed to be.
It’s not like the songs are good enough to get away with it. The rhapsodic changes of Snoopies; it’s not this but another song that features Snoop Dogg; is jarring. Most are so-so, though it’s worth mentioning that the Trainwreck beat, while amateurish, is quirky and cute. It’s also worth mentioning that Exodus, an “outro” that’s also an “intro”, could be something remarkable if it’s enchanting chorus and orchestration were developed into a proper song with actual rap verses.
my rating : 3 of 5