.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/7d37c71125bb070c499b2e620c32a0b4d5401470.jpg Stakes Is High

De La Soul

Stakes Is High

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
August 8, 1996

Just when the time seems ripe to capitalize on the fact that De La Soul fired the first shots in the alternative-hip-hop revolution, the Long Island, N.Y., trio opts to wax old school rather than return to the Daisy Age sound that inspired spiritual descendants like Fugees. The problem is that neither of De La's rappers packs enough muscle to carry off the street-hangin', self-aggrandizin' rhymes that trickle between the bass-heavy rhythms of songs like "Supa Emcees" and the auto tribute "Once Again."

 

The lack of provocative conceptualizing, like the proto-psychedelia of De La Soul's debut, 3 Feet High and Rising, or the biting satire of De La Soul Is Dead, could be overlooked if the album's melodic canvases weren't so barren. While the luscious, Curtis Mayfield-inspired "Sunshine" soars mightily, most of the 17 pieces on Stakes Is High crawl along lifelessly, trailing a wake of assembly-line beats that impart all the exhilaration of a suburban traffic jam.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com