People have been waiting for 10 years for this album -- literally. I still remember the day in 1998 that A Tribe Called Quest's The Love Movement, Outkast's Aquemini and Jay-Z's Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life arrived. Quest was easily the favorite at that time, but ended the day in third place. In some ways it felt as if the Tribe had passed the torch of consistent excellence to Outkast that day, even if the masses followed Hova from that point on. As the years passed we awaited a return. Quest or Q-Tip -- it didn't matter, just as long as it was a worthy comeback. Finally, The Renaissance has arrived.
This album flows effortlessly from track to track, just like the good old days. Before you know it, you're halfway through and haven't stopped bobbing your head. It doesn't have the obvious single like "Vivrant Thing" or the mainstream advertising staying power of "Galvanize," but who wouldn't trade a consistently solid album for a one-hit wonder?
Still, I'll single out a few: the creatively sports-themed "Won't Trade," the lead single, "Gettin' Up," the a capella-blessed "Dance on Glass" and the hidden title track that precedes it. R&B stars past and present Raphael Saadiq, D'Angelo and Norah Jones complement three other worthwhile songs. That covers half of the 12 listed, but honestly, I enjoyed them all from start to finish. Just throw it on, leave it alone and enjoy. Click here to find out how to buy this album.