Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Roots - Game Theory


Of all the bands my foray into the world of hip hop introduced me to, The Roots are, without a doubt, my most favourite.  (Having said this, I've always been a big fan of both The Beastie Boys and Run DMC). 

This collective includes not only some of the best songwriters and MCs in the business but also some of the best musicians (if you've not seen David Chappelle's Block Party, which feature most of The Roots as the house band, then I highly recommend it as not only is it funny but the music is superb).  Jimmy Fallon picked them to be his house band, a decision I was mighty pissed about when I heard this because it meant The Roots had to cancel a forthcoming tour of Australia and I would have finally got to see them live.

This particular album also has one of my all time favourite songs, Here I Come.  While not as political as some of their other tracks, this one has such an infectious groove, it is hard not to want to try to dance like I'm really fly.  (Incidentally, I'm not).  But then this album is chock full of great songs; Clock With No Hands, In The Music, Long Time, False Media...  In fact, I could name every track on this album because there isn't a dud one.

I think I made a big statement in the recent review of Fun DMC by People Under The Stairs when I said I thought theirs was what real hip hop was about.  But the fact is the articulation, both musically and lyrically, The Roots have accomplished over the years, is what hip hop should be about; relevant, smart, confident and intelligent.  It's unfortunate the genre, for the most part anyway, is everything but this.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP and teach the kids what it really is all about


It's not very cheerful, is it?  Ah relax YourZ - just pulling your leg.  I get it, it's really great hip-hop, actually reminds me of the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy.  Politically aware, eclectic, well structured.

Hmmm, but when will I actually feel like listening to it?  Maybe if I'm bored with my pop sensibilities and want something a bit meatier.  The problem with that is my job.  REVEAL: I'm a journalist and spend my days dealing with the hard realities of politics, crime, natural disasters et al.  Is it any wonder I feel like some Kylie in the car on the way home?

VERDICT:TURN IT DOWN (but I'll play it when I'm on holidays, honestly)

For more information:

In our collection, we also have: Rising Down, Phrenology  and  The Tipping Point

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