By De La Soul's admission this release is a stop-gap between 'proper' studio albums. It takes the form of a hip-hop mixtape; a mixed bag of new and old material with brief spoken word interludes.
The older tracks are 'never heard before' nuggets from the recording sessions of previous De La albums and are on the whole dissapointing. The new material fares slightly better; the James Brown sampling 'You Got It' has a certain old-school charm. And the last track 'Freedom Train' is classic De La that wouldn't have sounded out of place on 2004's excellent 'The Grind Date'. But the vast majority of the cuts on here come accross as half-arsed album fillers, not the well-crafted songs we are used to. You have to wonder whether these are just a bunch of tracks that were not considered good enough for the forthcoming album. It certainly seems that way.
De La Soul have been responsible for some of the most fantastic, infectious, thought-provoking hip-hop records of all time, and 'The Grind Date' proved that they are still capable of greatness. Hears hoping that this release will prove to be a temporary blip rather than the start of a downward career trajectory. If this CD was by any other hip-hop artist I would probably give it three stars, but because its by De La Soul, and we KNOW they can do SO much better, it will have to be a two.
Alright, this is De La Soul and as such it deserves at least some respect - after all they still lay verses on this album (well - sort of album) and to the many of their loyal fans they're the best at doing just that. With that both established and in mind: The Impossible Mission is a let down - The "TV. series Part I" as they dub it, is less of an album and more of a variety show - for a start one will immediately notice that this is 'creatively conspired by De La Soul' - (wat da?) rather than produced by, and while some tracks are, indeed 'produced by' Supa Dave West they boast that like we should be grateful! We are - at least in songs like Respect and Voodoo Circus - but most of the rest smacks of laziness! And to name a few examples there's their own take on Common's, The Corner (interesting); Another 'retake' of 'If it wasn't For you' (previously heard on Handsome Boy Modelling School's, White People; And a triplet of discarded efforts from previous albums entitled 'Wat Da..!' 1, 2 and 3 - rightly so. The verdict: We want Quality not quantity - not a below par attempt at show-casing 'new' material.