De La Soul is
Dead back, with their first new album since 2004. With all the weird and negative news this year, I'm so glad to have something like this come along.
Of course they never completely went away. There have been some guest spots on other people's albums, for example on Gorillaz' "Plastic Beach" album. But now they're back doing their own thing, and they brought their friends.
It feels like a rebirth of the group. That might be wishful thinking, but I'm hopeful. A couple of years ago they gave away downloads of all of their previous albums for free. Then came their incredibly successful Kickstarter project to raise money to fund a new album. And now, finally, it's here. The whole thing feels like breaking with the past and moving on toward the future. I don't know what their plans are but I hope more is coming.
I love how they made this album. Years of recording with studio musicians to build their own library to sample, free of legal issues. Working without a record label but getting the recording process financed directly by their fans. The Kickstarter project is the internet age at its best-- instead of fans hoping that some studio executive might greenlight the album, they can just directly help it happen.