Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Apr 10, 2012
    87
    The whole of First Serve is greater than the sum of its parts, and the album's crisp pace, infectious energy and playful humor make it an easy listen and a simple pleasure
  2. Apr 20, 2012
    80
    Unstoppably ace. [May 2012, p.88]
  3. Apr 4, 2012
    80
    It's easy to hear that they spent upwards of two years putting this album together, because First Serve is all about the joy of sublime musicianship.
  4. Apr 2, 2012
    80
    Though this won't go down as De La Soul's best album, it is highly intelligent, artistic and features razor sharp lyrics making it arguably Posdnuos and Dave's most musically ambitious project yet.
  5. Apr 2, 2012
    80
    The album is replete with humor, drama, and a satisfying sense of duality and resolution.
  6. Apr 3, 2012
    75
    It's a breezy, fun exercise in role-playing and escapism from casually assured artists in complete control of their craft, and it thoroughly realizes its modest ambition.
  7. Apr 20, 2012
    70
    First Serve, the album, is somewhere between the De La producer's fascinating but flawed Psychoanalysis and his entirely purposeful movie-on-wax, A Prince Among Thieves.
  8. Apr 19, 2012
    70
    It's Behind the Music, but funnier.
  9. Apr 5, 2012
    70
    Don't call it a full-fledged De La Soul record--call it an enjoyable diversion until the full crew come back proper.
  10. Apr 2, 2012
    70
    First Serve holds no fear for newcomers, consolidates their legacy, and deserves at least one encore.
  11. 70
    It might not rank alongside De La Soul's watershed moment 3 Feet High and Rising, but it's a welcome return to a time when rap music was fun and bursting at the seams with creative samples and hungry emcees.
  12. Oct 30, 2012
    67
    Spanning 16 tracks, the album comes drenched in De La Soul classicism, with beats seemingly culled from Prince Paul's closet collection.
  13. Apr 11, 2012
    65
    The listenability of the second-half might leave hip-hop heads indifferent, often feeling just too full of glossy pop, no matter how solid Plug 1 and Plug 2 continue to rap twenty-five years into their career.
  14. Jun 7, 2012
    60
    First Serve isn't a disappointing album by any means-that is, unless you make the mistake of expecting a De La Soul-quality LP from something the pair obviously made for fun-but it isn't a very remarkable one, either.
  15. Apr 13, 2012
    60
    Joyously propulsive... [Yet] there's little deviation from a straightforward palette of sticky basslines and boom-bap rhythms. [May 2012, p.95]
  16. Apr 2, 2012
    60
    Consider it a curious concept explored by two-thirds of the group that perhaps shouldn't distract you from revisiting 'The Grind Date'.
  17. Apr 2, 2012
    60
    This is not a bad record, just not what the game needed from De La at the moment.
  18. 60
    It's not the greatest story ever told--the depth of insight runs to little more than "Friends--how many have them? How long before they split like atoms?"--but the overall warmth is engaging.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 26, 2012
    6
    "First Serve" is a side project of duo from De La Soul and French DJ Chokolate And Khalid. Just like their previous activity - known even by"First Serve" is a side project of duo from De La Soul and French DJ Chokolate And Khalid. Just like their previous activity - known even by the single "Feel Good Inc." by Girillaz group - the disc is almost an hour of the alternative hip hop, melodic and somewhat scoffing. CD is at a fairly decent level, though sometimes men descend and create some cheap tracks, which can be seen even after the "Must B The Music". Full Review »
  2. Apr 3, 2012
    10
    What can i say this album is off the chain!!!! Way to bring hip hop back Plug 1 and Plug 2!!! Love the beats and the skits. True hip hop isWhat can i say this album is off the chain!!!! Way to bring hip hop back Plug 1 and Plug 2!!! Love the beats and the skits. True hip hop is still out there!!! Full Review »