After threatening to retire if their last album, Stakes Is High, stiffed, De La Soul have seemingly come to the realization that their positive hiphop message is only as good as the number of people who hear it.
Fittingly, Mosaic Thump -- the first in the Art Official Intelligence trilogy -- is perhaps the Long Island trio's most accessible album to date, but it's also their most critical. The beats are less abstract, and a party vibe runs through the entire disc, but it's still twisted. The feel is more De La Soul Is Dead than 3 Feet High And Rising, with the bounce-friendly beats allowing the threesome to poke holes in the hiphop mainstream from within. A