Digable Planets

Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles

Fans have been waiting almost 10 years for the influential hip-hop trio known as Digable Planets to drop a new album. Sadly, those same fans will probably be disappointed with Digable's latest, Beyond the Spectrum: The Creamy Spy Chronicles, because the CD doesn't actually contain any new music.

Described as an "anthology," Beyond the Spectrum is a "greatest hits album" of sorts and features tracks from previous albums Reachin' and Blowout Comb, as well as B-sides and rarities.

That's not to say the tracks collected for this project are lackluster. On the contrary, songs like "Nickel Bags" and "Pacifics" are rife with an energy and consciousness that is sorely missing from the current hip-hop landscape. But anyone prone to pick up Beyond the Spectrum has probably heard joints like "Where I'm From" (along with the "Where I'm From" remix) and the grossly overplayed "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" too much already.

Under-heard ditties such as "Dedicated," originally issued as B-side to the 12-inch single "Dial 7," and "9th Wonder (Blackitolism)," featuring an appearance by rap legend Jazzy Joyce, do make this CD a worthwhile purchase for true Digable devotees. But if you're strapped for cash, you may want to save your chips for that magical day when the three-person crew actually releases a new album with new material.