De la Soul has always been one of my favorite hip hop groups, which is why I was surprised that Are You In? totally slipped under my radar. This album has been positioned as a one-off foray into more electronic or dance-oriented music. The backing retains De la Soul's good taste but strips it of its brassy funk feel in favor of sometimes inorganic electronic production. Complementing that is De la Soul expanding their vocal and lyrical quipping to include weird repeated phrasings, which I guess is meant to emulate repetitive dance hooks. This album is an enjoyable release but can't touch classics like Stakes Is High or The Grind Date due to the formatting and willful genre experimentation.
Are You In?  - Download - Review