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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Phrenology

The Roots

2002

Phrenology

Album Summary

Phrenology is the fifth studio album by American hip hop band The Roots, released on November 26, 2002, by MCA Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during June 2000 to September 2002 at Electric Lady Studios in New York. It was primarily produced by members of the band and features contributions from hip hop and neo soul artists such as Cody ChesnuTT, Musiq Soulchild, Talib Kweli, and Jill Scott. Although it did not parallel the commercial success of the band's previous album, Things Fall Apart, the album reached number 28 on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold steadily, remaining on the chart for 38 weeks. On June 3, 2003, it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States. Upon its release, Phrenology received universal acclaim from music critics, who praised its musical direction and lyrical themes, and it was included in numerous publications' year-end lists of the year's best albums.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.29

Votes

4287

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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4

What a ride. Coming off of their breakthrough (and my favorite Roots album) "Things Fall Apart," this was incredibly ambitious to make. It veers in a lot of directions, but I feel like the message gets across no matter which way it takes you. I read something once that said "The Roots are not a band you put on for your backyard BBQ." We've got straight forward hip-hop, neosoul, punk, hard rock, and the closer "Thirsty" is some hard house all about the Black experience. So yeah not great sunshine feel good tunes. Black Thought, for me, is one of rap's all time greatest lyricist, so I felt he really captured aspects of the culture that shape the Black mindset in America. A repurposing of the racists study of Phrenology. Gotta love "The Seed 2.0" and the Talib Kweli feature on "Rolling With Heat." I've had the pleasure of seeing them live a few years ago, and I felt like they brought a lot of that energy to this record. It does feel a little jarring and disjointed at times with the abrupt stylistic shifts, so for that I'm going with a 4. This is a fantastic example of what a hip-hop album can be as a work of art.

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5

I really like the combination of rock, hip hop, and some whacky electronic influences. Quite a few bangers on this album.

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4

Ambitious, mature. The Roots never settle. For me this album suffers from a bit of the same issues I have with later Roots albums...almost too much scope, leaving it feeling fractured and lacking cohesion. Black Thought's lyrical skills combined with their expert instrumentation at times feels like drinking from a sonic firehose. But nonetheless, for 2002 this was such a genre-busting effort.

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3

Sounds nice. Nothing for me. Reliance on n-bombs makes it hard for me to enjoy all but the most trancendant rap

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1

I 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 dont like rap

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5

An amazing masterpiece!

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5

I mean. It's a top 5 hiphop album for me for sure. The whole album is just packed with top-of-the-game, unrelenting, socially-concious spitting backed by power beats. Impossibly good.

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5

Har aldri hørt dette albumet b2b før. Men, WOW, for en overraskelse! Særdeles variert med alt fra "klassisk" rap, til hardcore punk ('!!!!!!!'), frijazz-aktige-greier ('Water') og techno ('Thirsty!'). Favoritter: Quills, Rock you og Thought@Work.

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4

The Roots? Like from the Jimmy Fallon talk show? Unfortunately, this will be many people's initial exposure to these east-coast hip-hop legends. While this isn't the most prominent album in the discography, there is still great music here. There's clear Mos Def influence here, and I fuckin love Black On Black so I'll happily listen. And for the most part it's great! Around the mid-point it does seem to get a little aimless and experimental, which causes it to lose steam for me. This, combined with the 70 minute runtime, makes for a overly long album that maybe could've been broken up into two separate releases (maybe an experimental EP?) and reorganized for a more concise listening experience.

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3

Why this album by the Roots rather than “Things Fall Apart” which contains the Grammy-winning romantic rap ballad “You Got Me”??

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2

Old school rap con algunas canciones experimentales, pero no me gustó mucho. Liked songs: Seed Break your way off Something in the way of things

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5

I heard this album in my RA's room not long after it came out, and at the time I didn't really know much about The Roots. It blew my mind then, and it blew my mind again today. Black Thought is the best lyricist in the game imo. Best track: Thought @ Work

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5

My favorite Roots album and one of my favorite hip-hop albums.

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5

obviously, a great album

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5

FIVE STARS

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5

I've listened to this many times, great album!

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5

Own this, bought on NASA Glenn trip. Not quite as good as their previous but still amazing

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5

No notes needed

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5

yes

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5

Wow, this album is all over the place and also somehow ...not. I like it.

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5

Man. The Roots are great. I loved this album.

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5

genuinely a revelation - infectious hooks and instrumentals, great vocals, hooray !

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5

Hat einfach Spaß gemacht.

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5

LOVED this. Wasn’t expecting The Roots to have a hardcore punk song. Loved the variety

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5

This has vecome my favorite rap album atm. And also the best rap album I've at heard so far after about 100 albums on this list. It's nice to listen to and also experimental and special in many ways. About 4.5 to me butI'll give it a 5 because it's the only really good rap album I've heard so far. (On this list)

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5

This music pulled me in. Some of the tracks are great. A few are not to my own liking, but that's just a matter of taste. Really talented group.

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5

I love everything by The Roots ❤️. Hadn’t listened to this in a long time and was glad to do so again

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5

was good

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5

Brilliant hip-hop album.

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5

Необычно. Это джазз-рэп, нео-соул или что-то подобное. есть саксофон, МНОГО бэков. Я морж который почти не понимает рэп на слух, пыталась полезть в джиниус но там много диалекта, если прям зацепит то позже переведу. Неожиданно замечен тот самый популярный сэмпл барабанов. Пока 10/10 буду переслушивать. Оао хватит ли мне времени слушать каждый день альбомы из списка¿

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5

I like the hell out of this. It has a great sense of rhythm and changes up style frequently so that you don't get bored. It's unique and I dig it.

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5

Very very good album, with forwardthinking beats, experimental songs, emotional power, incredible rapping from Black thought and a new aesthetic for the Roots. Also great to see some hiphop on this very dadrock focused list. Aside from a few weak hooks this is perfect, my score would be a 9/10 but you can't do that in this systen so i'm giving it a full score.

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5

I’ll never forget the sousaphone solo when I saw them live. Top notch

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5

Really varied both instrumentally and vocally. I love the focus on live instrumentation. The lyrics are great too.

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5

one of the best roots albums of all time.

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5

meh

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5

Loved it the whole way through

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5

Great hip hop album with a lot of variety that transitions into different genres at times. Big fan of The Roots!

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5

Bangers.

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5

Seed 2.0 is always solid...love this album cover...the lyrics are powerful, but the beats make me long for the times when more rap sounded this way - powerful lyrics + a unique beat

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5

End of the album is better.

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5

Might as well become my fav genre lmao 5/5

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5

Maybe it's Philadelphia-bias, but this is The Roots at their best.

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5

I love this one and I've love The Roots in general so this can't be objective. I remember hearing 'The Seed' for the first time and just howling, like, what the hell am I listening to? If 'The Chronic' is a Netflix-era Michael Bay movie, this one is a late 80s John McTiernan movie. It's just as fun, but it's got something to chew on, too.

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5

Sooooo good!

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5

Great album.

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5

Fantastic hip hop album! More electronic than I was expecting.

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5

The Roots are just so solid. One of the best bands out there.

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5

Amazing. Best hip hop album I’ve heard in years. Maybe ever.

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5

It's funny I was just listening to this album the other day digging through albums that had sampled The Incredible Bongo Band. And they did sample "Apache" in the song "Thought@Work." This is The Roots' fifth studio album and has a lot of contributors including Ursula Rucker, Nelly Furtado, Talib Kweli, Cody Chesnutt, Musiq, Jill Scott and poet Amiri Baraka. The album is named after the discredited pseudoscience of Phrenology which was the study of head shapes to determine intelligence and character and rationalized racism in the 19th century. Wow! Learn something new everyday, some which make you shake your head or worse. Anyway, subject matter-wise, I did not hear a songs about racism per se, but on a variety of other subjects: anti-ganster, certain aspects of the inner city and hip hop culture, relationships and band member issues. Yeah, covering a lot, as does the music described as hip hop incorporating elements of rock, jazz, techno, hardcore punk and soul. This is a big album trying to do a lot and it accomplishes it with everything I heard. It is not really sprawling but has a focus to it as you listen. Lots of good songs on this album. As previously mentioned, " Thought@Work" samples "Apache" and has a great groove. Talk about a great groove, "The Seed (2.0)" featuring Cody ChesnuTT and remixing his song sounds like vintage 1973 Isley Brothers with a very soulful feel. The song is based on Muddy Waters' "The Blues Had a Baby and Named it Rock and Roll" using that forvhip hop to neo-soul in a very innovative way. The first single off the album "Break You Off" is another great soul-based song about trying to steal someone's girlfriend. A great majestic orchestra ending. This album is 77 minutes but does not seem nearly that long and is well- worth the listen.

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5

All the rock

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4

This is a great album. Ashamed to say I didn’t know much about it… I’ll be exploring further!

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4

Hip-hop-band, alsidigt, støvet, featurepræget

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4

I enjoyed this album. A couple tracks went a little long for me. I think overall, it sounded really cool and I liked a lot of the lyrics, features, etc. I wish I had more to say here.

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4

This album is weird but awesome, it has such a wide scope, from garage to the feeling that you're actively drowning it has everything

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4

Roots duh

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4

Some of these flows were too insane to give anything else. Admittedly lots of it was like fuckin woah. But this kept me awake when I was fucking near death.

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4

Nice. 4 stars.

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4

El rap y hippity hoppity no son lo mío, pero eso no quita que este disco es muy bueno y demuestra que el rap no es solo beat y rimas. Me gustó mucho The Seed (2.0)

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4

No sabía que ellos tocaban the seed 2.0 ni que se llamaba así jajaja. Buen hippity hoppity de ese que ya no hacen y muy buena mezcla de diferentes ritmos. The Seed, Pussy Galore, Rhymes and Ammo y Thirsty! mis favoritas

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4

First song is so dope! Really solid album I thoroughly enjoyed it

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4

Another from my collection. It aged well. I’d give it 5, but it’s not entirely consistent. Still will add it to my rotation again though. Loved it.

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4

De los grupos más originales en hip-hop y de pocos que pueden hacer que suene bien la combinación con instrumentos en vivo. Es como una clase de un experto para entender cómo puedes mezclar chingos de ritmos con hip hop y hacerlo bien... no como la mayoría.

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4

The Roots are a group that, despite my persistent journey into hip hop, I still haven't heard much from--I've heard more solo work from Black Thought. On first listen, I'm not much for picking up lyrics (and given the title and the Roots themselves, I know there's heavy lyrical content on here), but the music itself is really strong. It's an album that I'm sure would reward repeat listens, but based on the strength of the sound and the rapping, I can already say it's a great album. Excellent energy and a lot of cool styles explored. Favorite tracks: Quills, Rhymes and Ammo, The Seed 2.0, Thought @ Work. Album art: I'd say this is iconic as far as hip hop albums go. I've seen this countless times. Phrenology itself is a disturbing concept, and this art style throws back to an era when it was unfortunately a real thing. The intricacy of the art in the regions of the head/mind is incredible. 4/5

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4

Really enjoyed this one! The rhythm and groove especially. I didn’t pick up much on lyrics but loved the vibe and the drive this record had throughout. Definitely something I’ll be playing again.

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4

I enjoyed this album very much.

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4

Rock you y toughts @ work muy bien Water es una joya.

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4

I hadn’t listened to this album before this project. I really enjoyed all the grooves and different song flows.

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4

This album was all over the place and I loved that. Songs as short as 30 seconds or as long as ten minutes. very easy to listen to as the beats and other ambient sounds carried through most of the songs, especially on Break You Off and Water. The songs felt so short but were super long. Love this album art as well. Surprised this came out in 2011!

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4

this album gives me memories of college

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4

Enjoying this a great deal. 7/10 (4*)

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4

Good

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4

Meant to use the Tribe Called Quest review for this one as I was playing catch up but they both stand about the same for me. Suprisingly enjoyable compared to what my typical taste is, wouldnt seek out but could enjoy when it comes on

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4

One of the best rap albums from this century, surely.

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4

Al blijft dit niet echt mijn genre, heeft dit album heel wat invloeden uit rock, jazz en soul. Deze interessante mix maakt dit wel een leuk album

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4

surprisingly fun. i listened twice.

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4

Awesome album. A lot of soul, a lot of intelligent hip-hop. Very nice soulful, jazzy vibe.

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4

Love the flow of everything. Nice beats.

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4

A typically strong neo-soul outing from this consistently rock solid hip hop band. There's some really nice jazzy and even prog. rock touches throughout this record, but a couple of weaker moments (e.g. "Pussy Galore"). Like maybe 80-90 per cent of albums that run longer than 45 minutes, I can't help but feel this would have been a better album with a little editing. Favourite tracks: "Sacrifice", "Rolling With Heat", "The Seed (2.0)", and "Break You Off"

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4

lyrical

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4

Why are "break you off" and "water" so gosh darn long

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4

This was a lovely album. Very powerful and indicative of the times.

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4

Prvo da kažem, pjesme koje sam mislio da će mi biti najslabije na albumu je ispalo da su definitivno najbolje (Sacrifice i Complexity). Album koji je malo više okrenut rnb žanru za razliku od prijašnjih albuma. Album ne bi preporučio onima kojima nikad nisu slušali The Roots da im bude upoznavanje s njima. Naravno svi znaju The Seed (2.0.) klasika od pjesme. Većina albuma je super, neke pjesme bi maknuo poput Something In the Way of Things (In Town) i skratio pjesmu Break You Off, i ne znam, Thirsty! nisam očekivao da će tak zvučati, i to još na kraj albuma. Al ugl dosta dobar album, nisam očekivao da će mi se tak svidit. 3.9/5

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4

This is pretty fresh even after 20 years.

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4

Interesting album with dope lyrics from black thought

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4

Good start to the thing. This is perfect for like a hangout and just having a chill vibe but keeping the mood up.

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4

Pretty damn good Peaks right in the middle at seed 2.0

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4

First off, Black Thought is a wizard on the mic. The Seed (2.0) is one of my favorite songs, super nostalgic, but I had never listened to the entire album. Didnt know how different !!! and Thirsty! were from the rest of the album.

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4

some bops some weird ones

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4

Different from what I thought it'd be

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4

Dope

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4

What a punchy album. This record bangs from top to bottom, with smart raps and hooky beats. Lots of cool messaging and visceral rhymes.

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4

definitely ahead of its time. as for non-native English speaker worth reading lyrics and relistening to all of it. imho see a lot of innovative ideas and actually the album feels like there's been a lot of work put into it. some instrumentals are very very cool and fun to listen to.

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4

Un d'aquells discos que sobrepassen el génere. Hip hop de llibre, però també temes de pur r&b/soul com 'The Seed 2.0', 'Complexity' o 'Break You Off', flirtejos amb el pop a 'Sacrifice' o apropament a la experimentació a 'The Water'. O, simplement, temes tan bons com 'Pussy Galore'. Molt a prop de les 5*

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4

The Roots are masters of their craft, and they don't pull their punches in this funky and in-your-face record. Black Thought is an absolute poet in his cadence and word choice while he raps, and ?uestlove continues to drop great sounding rhythms that break the mold of the typical "thump and bass." This album has more studs than duds almost 20 years later, but sits in the middle of The Roots great discography. Favorite Songs: Thought @ Work, The Seed (2.0), Complexity Least Favorite Song: Something In The Way of Things (In Town)

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4

Wow - so many styles all expertly mixed together and excellent flow for the rap.

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4

A great classic that has been a pleasure to sink my teeth into. There were a few songs that have been on high rotation for many years so, again, to go back and here those singles in the context of a whole album has been a real joy. 4 stars as there are a few songs that are a bit "grating" and it's hard for me to place those songs as neccessary additions to an otherwise well considered and highly influence album.

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4

Awesome hip hop

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4

Really good album but a weird choice to be the sole Roots inclusion. It's one of their weaker offerings, which just shows how impressive of a discography they have.

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4

4.2 - I love this record both for its contributions to a conscious hip hop sound, as well as for its sonic explorations of noise, ambience and jazz. At times I hear the precursors for artists like Flying Lotus, especially in track like "Something in the Way..." and "Water." Other tracks ground this record with strong MC'ing and creative beats - "Pussy Galore", "Complexity", Break You Off"... Add neo soul into the mix and you get something sprawling and ambitious that digests and reinterprets sounds of the early-aughts.

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4

Fantastic Rap & Hip Hop album

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4

My flatmate at uni was a big fan of this, but I have only a vague recollection of it. Enjoyable, though, very raw and aggressive in places, in a good way.

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4

Let down by a couple of dud tracks but the majority of the album massively makes up for it. Seed 2.0 being an obvious highlight

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4

Altbacken und dadurch seltsam zeitlos. Einfach extrem kohärent. Macht Spass ohne Flach zu sein und die politische Haltung enthält 100% weniger Zeigefinger als Prediger gen Himmel pointen. Ausgestreckte 4.4

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4

Hard to not love The Roots

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4

Classic album but not my favorite by them.

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4

Great hip hop album, lots of "featuring" artists on each song. There's some consistency in the quick flow of the rappers, but otherwise the songs themselves have a lot of variation and the band goes into a few different musical styles. Tapers off towards the end, some more experimental tunes that kind of drag down the energy.

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4

The Roots’ greatest strength is also their greatest weakness; their exemplary musical skill means they can play any style and genre - but just because they can, should they? The album is ambitious, but at times lacks a cohesive satisfying overall mood. But when they’re good they’re very good - The Seed 2.0, Rolling with Heat, Rhymes and Ammo are straight up fire and Black Thought solidifies his reputation as one of the great - but slept on - rappers.

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4

Bumpin'

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4

Super eclectic. Know the Roots as hip hop, which this is, but it delves into so much more.

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4

Need to spend more time with this album, but I have really enjoyed it.

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4

Yeah, awesome stuff, though a bit weird that it's the only album by The Roots on the list. Being a bit contrary, I like the more genre bending experimental tracks that a lot of people seem to be complaining about, heh. Gonna go for 4 stars, but I suspect it could bump to 5 with more listens... Fave track - "The Seed (2.0)" is a fantastic tune.

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4

Like this album way more than expected. Wild mixture of musical elements and experimentation across the album, some which I absolutely hated but most of it was great or at the very least interesting.

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4

Awesome LP. Very well produced, great variety.

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4

2002. Thought @ Work, The Seed (2.0)

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4

The only thing not making this a 5 is the rampant homophobia.

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4

Loved the seed 2.0. Great all around

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4

Very sick, need to finish

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4

Great R&B beats with some solid rap over the top, great stuff

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4

Never heard the Roots before - love it! Very exciting to listen to, you never know when a bit of metal might be snuck into one of the tracks somewhere. So many inventive and creative ways of making sounds throughout. Not exactly easy listening but it's eye-opening and raw. Pure poetry. Sometimes it was tiring trying to pick up all the lyrics, I wanted to hear them though!

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4

Great ones but also some duds

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4

Good, raw hiphop.

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4

Solid and engaging.

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4

water went a bit wild but most of tunes were v listenable - shame they support Jimmy fucking Fallon now

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4

Absolute banger of a hip hop record.

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4

Love the Roots. Great album.

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4

Not bad.

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4

Thinking about why you would pick this album out of all their albums for this made me really that you could justify picking most any of their albums. Great band, great album

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4

Good times

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4

I'm definitely a fan of full instrumentation hip-hop. Some very surprising songs on here, like Water where it goes into some weird krautrock-y kosmiche music at times, could have been a Can song halfway through. Songs like Rock You, The Seed (2.0), Rolling With Heat, are all super vibe-y. Some of it is a bit bloat-y but overall I'm a fan. 3.5 to 4.

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4

Love this album. Not much else to say besides it was fun.

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4

I'm pretty happy with this album. I'd listen to it again. Admittedly, I didn't give every song my full attention since it was at some points more background then lyrically attended to.....

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4

This is really good - I always gave it a skip because it seemed like people who thought hip hop was childish liked it. But it's genuinely great. It has a great love of old school hip hop, evidenced on Thought @ Work, but also does great live instrumentation as on The Seed. No wonder ?uestlove is huge now!!! Really great, loved a lot, liked a lot. Feel like this might be a five star album in a few more listens.

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4

// Yo I hold the mic that could be thrown as a pipe bomb, bring it just to sling it at your favorite icon //

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4

South Philly's finest. Black Thought is still one of the most underrated MCs in the game. The beats on this thing at certain points make me think of the best block party ever. A little long. Favorite tracks: "Thought @ Work", "The Seed"

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4

This is one of those rap albums that better lyrically minded listeners can parse. The album goes a lot of musical directions with its orchestration and is definetly a kitchen sink style. Definetly worth a revisit. Break You Off is so smooth.

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4

Always salutes the Roots

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4

Genre: East Coast Hip Hop 4/5 Phrenology, as a scientific term, is defined as measuring the skull to deduce intelligence and/or any other charaterisitics, all generally false or pseudo-scientific, and something that had been used against black men for years throughout the 1800s, during slavery, as well as post-slavery. The Roots take that term to title their album with, taking it for themselves and giving the term new life and new context. This album might not be a skull examination in the scientific sense, but it certainly is an exploration into Black Thought's world view, which is a trip worthy of taking. His rapping is some of the best so far throughout this exercise, although I have to admit there has been very little so far. While the album is full of highlights (Sacrifice, The Seed 2.0, Complexity), my personal favorite on this album is the 10+ minute long, experimental rap epic, Water. Complete with a jarring beat switch in the middle, this song does the best job of showcasing what makes The Roots so good, their biting social commentary, their tremendous live musical backdrops, and their willingness to experiment and try new things. This album sounds very close to To Pimp a Butterfly's older brother, and the influence is clear. While I don't think this quite reaches the heights TPaB reached, this is a tremendous hip hop effort. Still sounds as fresh and exciting as I'm sure it did in the aughts. Great shit.

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4

As my other reviews have shown, I’m not a big hip hop fan. But the Roots are able to make music that is good and dare I say, I enjoy? Maybe it’s the live band, maybe it’s that they’re from Philly, I don’t know. But they’re damn good.

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4

I listened to this a lot when it came out. It holds up pretty well. There are still a few songs I always skip.

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4

Hip hop/rap has generally been a bit of a blind spot for me. But I hear a record like this it definitely occurs that I’ve been missing something. Plus a hardcore punk song!!!!!!? I’ll be listening to this again.

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4

25th March 2022 Listened in the front room while working on CC Hub. Went to watch X in the evening with Gareth in Peckham. Enjoyed this, Questlove is a legend and this is definitely a cornerstone. Less a fan of the experimental end tracks but some bangers on here.

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4

crazy album, but it keeps you on your toes. very cool.

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4

They went in a few directions in this. I like the funk/soul vibe to some of those. Hip hop is not my fav genre but I dig the Roots, maybe since I'm philly born.

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4

A big sprawling album, it could maybe be slightly tighter/more focused… but none of it seems like filler and it shows the breadth of the group’s talents and scale of their ambition. Perhaps shaving bits off here and there would defeat the purpose.

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4

I could lower my house on this album. Great energy most all the way through.

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4

Brilliant hip hop album

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4

Banger of an album. So many dense, DENSE flows from Black Thought on this thing makes me excited to go back and listen to try and get all of it. It has a really nice mix of heavy hitters and soul inspired cuts, as well as a lot of rock influence. As an avid RTJ listener I can 100% see the inspiration from The Roots. 8/10

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4

cool album, with many influences and a more developed musical background than many other rap groups

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4

This album was great. Some experimental stuff and good lyrics. The first half with songs like rock you were way better than the second half though

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4

Mostly Masterful. Interspersed with some daft filler

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4

If you cut this down to it’s 45 best minutes this would be 5. Great rapping, good hooks, and lush instrumentation. Unfortunately there was also a decent amount of filler sounds, interludes, and spoken word that I did not enjoy. Talib Kweli was a nice surprise on both of the tracks he featured on. Again it says a lot about this list that none of the most important rap albums from 2011 are on here (take care, watch the throne) but this middle aged safe group is.

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4

I find this more interesting than great. They decided to stretch out a bit. There are jazzier elements than on the prior releases. Seed (2.0) is built on a riff that could be 70s era Stones. I am a big ?uestlove's fan and his playing here is superb. If anything it shows that hip-hop can co-exist with rap, funk, soul and rock - sometimes in the same song.

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4

Fallon may be a goober but he has good taste 4

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4

I bought this album in the mid-2000s on the strength of The Seed which is a cracking tune. There are some fresh beats on this album and it's somewhat more cultured hip-hop than most.

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4

I like the diversity of the songs.

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4

I wouldn’t call this the best album by The Roots, but it does have the one song people know by them, so I know why it’s here. But it’s still quite good. Questlove knows how to write a spicy tune. B+

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4

I liked this, but it was definitely overlong. I think I would have given this a 4 if it were shorter, but as it is, I'll give it a 3.5. 3.5/5

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4

This is such a great album with probably the broadest range of influences displayed by a The Roots record. As conscious as ever and with some classic hip-hop beats but also the hard-core punk of '!!!!!!!', the chill soul of Complexity, the almost indie-rock sound of 'The Seed 2.0', and the beat-switching funk of 'Break You Off' Some of it doesn't quite work for me (the soundscape that makes up the second half of Water is quite indulgent for example), and I'm very surprised this is the Roots album that was chosen over Things Fall Apart or Game Theory, but it's a really impressive dive into a lot of different sounds

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4

This has grown on me. Loved it by the end.

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4

Long time Roots fan, but this was an album I never really revisited frequently. When it was released it was seen as a departure - and rightly so, it is radically different from Thing Fall Apart. Looking back at it now, it’s kind of a blueprint for where the Roots would go in the 21st Century. Though The Roots hit higher high’s on subsequent records (like Game Theory and Undun), Phrenology gets a lot right. It’s a bit like a classic rock double album gone hip-hop. Stylistically varied, with the first half of the record focusing on more traditional songs/structures and an experimental (yet accessible) second half. Glad to revisit this one, it’s given me a new appreciation for a record that I overlooked/under-appreciated.

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4

Have to admit I only really knew them as the Fallon house band so was very pleasantly surprised. Musically very diverse, quite jazzy even. And I think another listen to catch the lyrics would be a good idea.

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4

This was a great listen. I've been meaning to give The Roots a proper chance for a while. The rapping was excellent and I really loved how well they incorporated rock into their sound. The seed is a clear standout track, heard it in passing before but it really blew me away. Sadly the album drags a bit on the back end and loses focus, could definitely do with cutting a few tracks. Will definitely be digging further into their discography after this.

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4

Really cool hip hop album. I love the use of real instruments and the creative approach of blending genres. Definitely need to listen to these guys more. Favorite song: Something In The Way of Things

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4

I dig it

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4

Lindo

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4

I enjoyed this and it made me curious.

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3

This is alright, couldn't say it's the best of all time but it's better than the "big bling hip hop" of the early 2000s. Still too long and not very memorable though.

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3

jag vill ge det här en fyra men albumet är för långt. kill your darlings ffs

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3

Alright, I suppose. I don't really know enough about rap to distinguish good from bad, tbh.

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3

Lækkert, men man skal også være i humør til deres tekster

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3

Good album, but I've never really cared for the roots

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3

pretty nice album, listened to half but just feeling a different vibe so stopped halfway

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3

Muy bien producido. Rap old school que suena actual. Tracks: The Seed, Pussy Galore

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3

Funky fused rap with interesting sound scapes

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3

Blir litt for eklektisk for min hip-hop smak

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3

So far this album is better than 77, listening to them back to back is very interesting. Still have the consistent rhythmic thing going on. Their use of electric guitar almost exclusive for high riffs is super funky, especially when you layer in all the laser noises. The song "electric guitar" is just objectively bad though.

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3

No está mal, supongo que es mejor entendiendo la letra.

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3

buen disco

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3

Não encontrei a parte do rock no álbum.

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3

The Rootsy, ale z dosc niespodziewanym albumem bym powiedzial, bo chyba najbardziej eksperymentalny w dyskografii i dosc dzielacy fanow, bo pierwszy albumik bez Malika, ktory poszedl z bandy, prawdopodobnie przez drugowanie, co jest tematem jednego z kawalkow, water, 10 minutowy kawalek z czego polowa jest prawdziwym psychodelicznym tripem w swiat Malika, a czemu eksperymentalny material, bo pomimo tego ze jest to niewatpliwie gatunek hip hopowania murzynskiego, to jest on przepelniony wplywami innych gatunkow muzycznych, glownie jazzu i neosoula, wiec jedynym featurem na albunie jaki znam jest talib kweli, natomiast reszta artystow jest dla mnie zbyt egzotyczna, a troche tych grajkow sie tutaj znajdzie na kolabie, dokladnie 21, bo nie jest to typowy material rapowy jak wspominalem, the rootsy wyrozniaja sie tym, ze instrumentale nie sa samplowane, ale grane na zywo, co brzmi swietnie live, ale stwarza tez problemy z organizacja tak poteznej bandy, a skoro neosoul, to musza byc chorki takze z colabowych artystow, natomiast lista featurow na produkcji jest jeszcze dluzsza i tego juz nie potrafie wyjasnic, zwlaszcza ze wczesne rootsy byly samoprodukujaca sie banda, co do kontentu lirycznego to jest to rap z gatunku conscious, czyli bardzo zyciowe kawalki, zwlaszcza o tym jak zle jest biednym ludziom o ciemnej karnacji, niektore kawalki sa nawet zbyt kaznodziejskie, ale taki urok gatunku, na plejaka dorzucam wspomniany kawalek o wodzie Malikowej i thought@work, ciekawie prezentuje sie takze okladka, ktora odnosi sie do tytulu plyty, phrenology na polski frenologia, czyli dawna dziedzina naukowa, w dziesiejszych czasach pseudonaukowa odnoszoaca sie do badania i pomiaru tego co kto ma w glowie na podstawie tego jaka ma glowe, wiec w zaleznosci ktore czesci kory mozowej jakie maja wymiary tak sie ocenia osobnika, okladka przedstawia osobe murzynska i co ona ma w poszczegolnych czesciach mozgu, co nawiazuje do klasycznego schematu frenologicznego

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3

Some great grooves, mixes & references, will listen again.

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3

Pretty solid rap album, but nothing that really stood out to me. 0RS

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3

Rap with a live band is always appreciated. Good and fairly consistent but not transcendent

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3

Real mix of styles in this hip hop. Best Tracks: Rock On, Thought @ Work, Rhymes and Ammo

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3

Beautiful production and rhymes. Could do with a trim though. Runs out of gas about half way through.

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3

A bit long and runs out of steam towards the end a little, but overall a really enjoyable album with a great flow. Hip Hop for grown ups.

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3

Pretty good

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3

This is my first exposure to a Roots' record, and I was really surprised at the variety of genres they venture into here. There's a little prog, a little psychedelia, techno in addition to neo-soul/old school hip-hop, which is more of what I associated with The Roots. Make me want to dive into more of their work, as I feel like it's a strange entry point, but I like a lot of what "Phrenology" has to offer. Fav Tracks: Break You Off, The Seed (2.0) Rating: 3.5/5

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3

The album started out strong, but loses some of its step in the back-half. Overall, it's solid first half and old-school appeal does a lot to make this a solid effort for the group.

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3

Some good songs but not life changing by any means

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3

Zbog Seeda ocjena više.

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3

Loro sono forti però questo disco non mi conquista completamente, mi piacciono più quando sono neo-soul che puramente hip hop. Lo trovo anche un pò troppo lungo come disco poteva essere concentrato in una tracklist più breve e forse lo avrebbe aiutato a mettersi a fuoco. Detto questo per me sono un 3.5.

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3

Un altro album difficile da giudicare. Conoscevo il gruppo solo per The Seed (2.0) prima di questo ascolto. Ho trovato questo album coerente stilisticamente ma molto incoerente rispetto al mio grado di apprezzamento. All'inizio ho pensato che sarebbe stato un ascolto pesante più o meno fino a The Seed. Da lì l'album per me si è aperto e praticamente fino a Complexity ho trovato tutti i pezzi molto interessanti e anche raffinati, Water e Break You Off in particolare. Poi però è tornato un po' troppo concettuale o troppo clubbarolo pur mantenendo l'impronta stilistica sicuramente, ma l'ho trovato poco azzeccato come cambio all'interno dell'album. Non mi sento di andare sopra al 3 anche se la varianza dei voti dei singoli pezzi è alta.

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3

Great lyrics, good beats, good flow

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3

Pretty entertaining. Black Though had some good energy, but I felt like something was missing. Also the pair of earbuds I used was horrible, so maybe that had something to do with it.

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3

Highlights: The Seed (2.0), Break You Off

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3

Pretty darn good. Funkadelic

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3

Few good songs

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3

Some good songs. Didn't like everything (what the hell was going on in the song "Water"?) Chill music.

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3

Similair to beastieboys Gets better the longer I listen 3.5/5

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3

Done.

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3

I would’ve hated this maybe as few as five years ago. Worse, I’d have dismissed it without giving it a chance. I’m different now. Now I give it a chance BECAUSE I wouldn’t have picked it. It’s still not something I’d choose to listen to, but I’m more willing to meet it on its own terms, to try to examine it and understand it and respect it. I’ll give myself the patronizing white guy pat on the shoulder here, even though I can recognize that perhaps I’m still a bit racist, just in a different way. I’m more like the condescending “liberal” white family in “Get Out”. Oh well, keep trying to grow and improve, right? Interesting mix of pop-rock and rap. Some of these songs speak to me like Childish Gambino last summer. Bears further examination.

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3

Was pretty interesting - a wide variety from song-to-song. The drums & instrumentation are super tight and interesting, layered beneath the vocals in a few songs. Probably won't pull it up again but pretty neat

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3

Top 3 1. (8) The Seed (2.0) 2. (9) Break You Off 3. (4) Sacrifice Bonus: (16) Thirsty!

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3

its alright

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3

I always kind of thought this would be the type of hip-hop I would like, and there is definitely some good stuff here, but overall it surprises me that I think I prefer the 90's gangsta rap to this a bit more.

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3

I really like The Roots - excellent musicians and songwriters. Some great tunes, and I like the amalgamation of different styles to produce something that still sounds cohesive and flows. However, I do think this record is too long. It could have easily lost a few tracks. It's also too loud and compressed for the most part. Whenever you see footage of The Roots playing live there is much more dynamic range and swing, and I feel a lot of that is lost on this recording. (3.4)

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3

A few bangers here but too much guff. Really liked Break You Off. Most of the rest was unremarkable

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3

Decent rapping, album too long though and would have preferred some better beats with more instruments, less electronic

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3

I really enjoyed this album lyrically. The rapping is really good and engaging. However, the instrumentals were not enough for me to be impressed as a while. Further, I would have preferred a shorter run time to have made the album more effective.

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3

Dripping with fanny

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3

Second Listen. The first time this album came up for me, I wasn't impressed. None of the songs grabbed me at all. This time, I feel completely different. I thought the sounds, raps, everything was very interesting. I was probably turned off by the language used. This time I tried to focus more on the groves. Enjoyed it much more this time around. 3/5. (2/5 first time) Phrenology: the detailed study of the shape and size of the cranium as a supposed indication of character and mental abilities.

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3

Parhaimmillaan todella letkeän laadukasta rap/r&b/whatever musiikkia Ameriikan tyyliin. Varsinkin muutamat vierailevalla vokalistilla varustetut biisit toimi hyvin. Valitettavasti mukana on genren normien mukaisesti useampia omituisia sekoiluraitoja, jotka rikkovat tehokkaasti kokonaisuuden. On tämä kuitenkin ehdottomasti listan parhaita raplevyjä tähän mennessä. Parhaimmillaan nelosen arvoista flowta mutta kokonaisuus jää tällä kertaa kolmoseen.

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3

This was much less "rap" music than avantgarde music. (6/10) Favourite Tracks: The Seed (2.0)

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3

Was sure I wouldn't like this pleasantly surprised that i was wrong

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3

Mostly okay

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3

After listening to Phrenology, I understand why people like hip-hop. Still not my type tho.

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3

it's weird this is the only Roots album on this list apparently because it's the most "it's fine I guess" of all their albums I've heard. Black Thought rules though and that carried me through the album.

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3

I think a lot about how Philly hasn't produced as many microphone juggernauts as a lot of other cities, and the Roots have me convinced it's because Black Thought took all the talent and left nothing for anybody else—all respect due to Dice Raw and Malik B. I was only really familiar with their first three albums before this, so I expected there to be a musical jump towards more instrumental experimentation and diversity—and sure enough, this album's all over the god damn place—but the lyricism feels a little stuck in the 90s for better and for worse. In Rolling with Heat's case, afro-centrism is closing out a verse with "pro-black" before going on to proclaim that "dick smokers get no respect" in the next, and Pussy Galore almost feels hypocritical coming after Break You Off's infidelity—maybe that's the intent? Regardless, Thought is razor sharp elsewhere, to the point that you come to kind of resent the lengthy musical interludes that make up a portion of the record's 70 minutes. Solid stuff, but it makes me wonder why this was the sole Roots album to make the book's cut, and this is coming from someone who hasn't even gotten to Things Fall Apart yet. Key Tracks: Thought @ Work, Water, Quills

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3

I like this album but was a little disappointed with this listen, and it's a strange pick for The Roots, they have much much better material out there

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3

It was alright, it kind of washed over me, but I wasn't offended

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3

A great album, I'm kind of ashamed that I only knew "The Seed (2.0)", but back in 2002 I wasn't too interested in this genre. This is one I'll surely get back to and perhaps give it 4 stars.

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3

Vamos allá con la banda residente del programa de Jimmy Fallon. Pues me han recordado por sonido a Outkast o Gnarls Barkley. Me ha gustado "Thought @ work". En general se deja escuchar pero no es un disco que volvería a oír o considere imprescindible.

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3

Hip hop. Soul

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3

I really like the roots but this one is a little different.

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3

Different but good liked the last song

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3

Solid two album here. The seed is probably my favorite off this album. Some of the interludes seemed long though. The bets are solid and lyrically black thought does well. The appearances by talib kwali are solid too. 7.6/10

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3

First and foremost, it's great to see Nelly Furtado make an appearance on this list. I enjoyed the album, especially the more 'bandy' tracks like The Seed, but the variety was welcome too. The jazzy weirdness of Something In The Way Of Things sounds like something Kendrick Lamar would do these days (yeah that's right, I'm a hip-hop expert). A solid 3 or even 3.5.

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3

I've tried to listen to this album before because it has a couple of my favourite Roots songs on it, but there is just a bit too much filler in there to make it a true classic

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3

Looses steam after the seed 2.0

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3

not my favorite - drum beats not changing during the entire song, felt harsh

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3

Sounds fresh and current even though it's almost 20 years old

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3

Decent

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3

Gode bra ändå, bäst hittills.

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3

Probably more like a 3.5, but at the moment it feels closer to a 3 than a 4. I’ve heard this album a lot, and its pretty good, but its fairly far down the list of releases from the Roots that I’d choose when listening to them.

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3

The Roots est un groupe de chenapan. En effet, ces derniers ont réussi à me piéger en cet après-midi. Alors que j'ouvrais le générateur, et visionnait le nom "The Roots" écrit en grosses lettres sur l'immense écran de la salle de réunion, je soupirais. "Encore un groupe de rock moyen en The", murmurai-je, devant l'incompéhension de mes collaborateurs. Mais laissez moi vous remettre dans le contexte. Durant ce mardi, ma journée fut chargée de réunions, ce qui m'empêchait tout bonnement de rattraper mon retard sur le générateur, accumulé suite à l'astucieux détournement d'avion orchestré par robdinèrent. Fou de rage, je me rendis alors dans le bureau de mon directeur, lui tendant mon contrat au visage. -Tu sais pas lire connard ?! C'est en substance ce que je lui ai dit, la clause précisant que dans le cadre de mon activité professionnelle, j'ai droit à un album par jour faisant face à son nez. Il me répondit qu'il fallait que je fasse preuve de flexibilité, et que si il m'etait impossible découter un album aujourd'hui la faute à une journée trop chargée en réunion, je pourrai toujours en écouter deux demain. Je piquais alors une colère: - Ah ouais et les reviews ils vont s'écrire tout seuls ?! C'est alors que je pris la décision de générer mon album du jour pendant ma première réunion de la journée. Revenons donc où nous en étions, entre deux annonces de mon manager, je générais enfin cet album des Roots: - Mmmmh encore un groupe de rock moyen en The... Mes collaborateurs étaient stupéfaits. Je ne compris pas de suite pourquoi, mais alors que je commençais à lancer l'album Phrenology sur les enceintes de la salle, tout s'éclaircit: The Roots n'était en fait pas du tout un groupe de rock moyen, mais bien un groupe de rap moyen.

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3

Le jour où Phrenology a pointé le bout de son nez dans le générateur, je me rendais au collège dans lequel je travaille. Au moment d'entrer dans la salle des profs, mon enceinte JBL à la main droite pétaradant l'album des roots, je fus surpris de voir toute l'équipe enseignante ainsi que le directeur réunis devant la porte. "Was soll das ?!" gueulai-je dans un allemand impeccable. Les professeurs me tendirent alors un cadeau soigneusement emballé. "C'est pour moi ?" m'apaisai-je alors. Le directeur acquiesça et je commençai à déballer le cadeau. Quelle ne fut pas ma surprise de découvrir qu'il s'agissait d'une casque-audio JBL. "Was ?!" hurlai-je en leur jetant l'objet à la figure avant de décamper boire mon café ailleurs.

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3

Seed 2.0 is one of my favorite songs all time. There’s a few other bangers on this album, but mostly it’s a few good songs surrounded by mediocre. All the R&B harsher my vibe. They get extra credit fir being a full band and using instruments.

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3

A real 1001 move to go with Phrenology and not Things Fall Apart, but I'm no Roots head. Back in their day I thought the full band "real" instruments hip hop thing was refreshing compared to the Cash Money stuff that was happening at the time. In hindsight the Cash Money stuff is Bach compared to some contemporary trap beats. Looks like it's a curmudgeony gen x morning for AER! The Roots are cool I just think they're at their best when jazzy and this is their pop breakthrough. Also their albums are really long and Black Thought isn't compelling enough to hold down an hour of rhymes. Sheesh I need to find some positivity. B-

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3

"The Seed" is by far the best and most popular song on the album. I'm not sure I really cared for the album outside of this song and was maybe a little disappointed. 6/10.

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3

Good. It was new to me and I enjoyed it!

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3

Not bad. I find it quite hard to rate rap/hip-hop albums because they take a lot of attention to really get the lyrics and meaning of it all and I can't always commit that so just have to go off a felling.

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3

Well I have to say I wasn't hugely into this. Luke said it was a banger in his youth. Pussy galore did my absolute nut in. Some were ok but generally wasn't a huge fan

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3

A genre, rap, that I don't listen to very much, so I'm happy to have this album come up for me to listen to. First impression is straight forward rap from 2002. Some of the interstitial pieces, like Thought @ work, are an interesting noises or tapestries of sounds and voices. Some of the songs have a cool groove. There isn't tons of melody, it's all about the words and rhymes (with a couple exceptions, particularly songs with guest artists).

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3

At first, I thought it was plain old hip hop, but there are a few really nice tracks on here.

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3

When the album started I think that I was listening to something similar to "Body Count" mixing hip-hop and Hardrock. This is not the best thing in the world, but is pretty cool and I like this type of mix. Along the rest of the album, this changed a lot...what is it exactly? "Water" is an experimental hip-hop song? Even not understand all the album, I liked it. It's a good experience that could be shorter, but it's cool enough to deserve another chance someday and even other albums from the band.

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3

e tu ricerchi là le tue radici sì sì sì

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3

Good mix of modern r&B singing alongside hip hop with pretty good music. Obviously the seed 2.0 is the big famous song, but it's not on its own. Good music. A high 3 due to the quality of the singing, samples and original music. Pretty good .

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3

Ho già ascoltato qualcosa dei The Roots e li conosco per via di Jimmy Fallon, ma l'inizio dell'album è spiazzante: Rap molto ritmato. Pian piano si evolve in un Hip Hop più tranquillo. 'The Seed (2.0)' è un classico. Dopo questa succede "qualcosa"

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3

Groovy. Nice push and pull between songs. *Sacrifice *Thought @ Work *Break You Off *Water

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3

Initially I thought this album was just going to be a heavy rap album lacking in melody. However as the album progressed I was most impressed by some the deft handling of the songs. In particular I really enjoyed Cody ChestnuTT and Musiq- Break You Off. The verbal dexterity on the lyrics was most impressive.

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3

3.6

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3

It works. Got pretty repetitive. Not a bad listen though

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3

I didn't get a chance to listen to this today, but have heard it before. My memory is foggier than Barbara Bush's underpants, but I'm just gonna say that I liked it, didn't love it. And I can tell from the running time it's probably too long for me and my foggy-ass underpants. But "The Seed"! Always liked that one.

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3

Fair

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3

I've always been kind of surprised that The Roots' model of hip hop with live instrumentation wasn't a more popular format. They have a very dynamic and punchy sound. Don't really understand the "Water" track in the middle of the album. I could see it working as a "secret" track at the end but, ironically, it just kind of breaks up the flow. Same goes for "Something in the way of things" - it's nothing against the tracks per se but rather their pacing and placement. And the high energy/clubby final track is just out of nowhere and feels kind of tacked on. The album seems to suffer a bit from CD era bloat.

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3

Some good stuff here. I like the Roots but find that their albums as a whole tend to be too long and inconsistent. This would be a better album if they had cut it down to 35-40 minutes and cut some of the weaker tracks.

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3

Get the generic '90s gangsta rap. Then replace the background sounds with jazz and soul. Tell them (ANGRILY!) that you will ROCK them. Add a punk interlude. And let it build-up. In the middle, bangers and nice instrumentals will spawn. "Thought @ Work", "The Seed (2.0)", "Break You Off", and the ridiculously long "Water". At this point, you just ROCKED them. Nice. After it, you can go back to the generic gangsta rap with soul background. But this time sprinkle some more soul on top. Congrats. You just created 70 minutes worth of a so-called"progressive rap" album.

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3

jarring intro, but an oddly fitting transition into Rock You. Water is a ten minute hip hop song, half of which is just instrumental experimentation, this is baffling stuff man.

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3

Kind of all over the place, pushing boundaries. I'll never turn down The Roots, and I love the daring attempts. Not all of it quite "hits" though.

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3

Far from a favorite but it's not horrible. Did I listen to it twice? No. will I ever listen to it again? No.

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3

Nice L.P. Love the song "The Seed"

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3

Pretty good album. The unfortunate thing about rating albums is I can only say how I feel about it at this exact second, and in this exact second I don't want to take a lot of time to pay attention to the lyrics. I have the feeling I'd rate this a little higher if I was analyzing the words. In this moment though, I don't feel like paying too much attention and it's not the kind of thing I think I'd want to play repeatedly.

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3

j’ai eu le temps de faire 3 siestes et ça tournait toujours (truc de beatbox à la fin ??)

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3

Some nice tracks, nothing too harsh to listen to. But not something I'll be adding to regular listening.

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3

3, not bad

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3

It’s too bad there aren’t more tracks like The Seed (2.0) and too much cacophony like !!!!!!! and the back end of Water.

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3

Longer than it needs to be.

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3

Suger att säga det, men det var fan ingen höjdare

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3

Interesting album. Well done fusion of multiple sources. Love the song The Seed.

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3

Good stuff, and great energy.

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3

It's fine, but I feel like its attempts at a profound message got a bit muddled.

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3

What a weird album, very 2002. Some good songs some absolute trash

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3

New band and new album to me. I liked most of the album. There's a good mix of old school hip-hop, experimental stuff for early 2000s, but also some just trash. "Pussy galore" was blegh. I particularly enjoyed; "Complexity", "The seed (2.0)", "Break You Off". "Thought @ work" (the second one listed in the album),was my fave.

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3

Funky hip hop, liked a few songs

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3

I'm eager to check out this Roots album, I've heard of them but am unfamiliar with their discography. The beats haven't been very catchy but the lyricism has been top notch. Rock You 3/5. Sacrifice 3.5/5. Rolling With Heat 3.5/5. Thought @ Work 3.5/5. The Seed (2.0) 3/5. Break You Off 4/5. Water 3/5. Quills 4/5. Pussy Galore 4/5. Complexity 3.5/5. Something in the Way 2/5. Rhymes and Ammo 3/5. Thirsty! 2/5.

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3

Stand out tracks - rolling with heat - the seed (2.0) - break you off

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3

Like the other Roots album. Technically good but the rap music equivalent of eating a large pile of steamed broccoli.

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3

Not my favorite album but still enough to like here. Favorite: Break You Off

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2

Een paar leuke nummers, maar niet goed genoeg voor 3 sterren. Sommige nummers lijken haast van die gare jazznummers, maar dan nog erger.

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2

Respect the artistry and talent with words but just couldn't get into it.

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2

It's rap...again...

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2

the seed + meh

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2

Ett par låtar jättebra, men hela albumet passar inte mig.

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2

No thank you

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2

No Aesop Rock

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2

Hip Hop style.

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2

poco hip hopera...

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2

I'm definitely not the audience for this album.

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2

I do like some Rap/Hip-Hop, but this just wasn't for me, didn't really like it much at all. 5/10

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2

Otro disco más que no pinta nada en esta lista. Quizas fue un hype en su época?

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2

Whatevaaaaa

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2

Not bad, but not really my jam either.

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2

Relatief lang album. Het eerste deel was gelukkig beter dan het gemiddelde hiphopalbum dat we hier al hebben horen passeren. Vanaf Water gaat het wel helemaal van 't padje.

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2

Spot the sample!

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2

2/5 not really.

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2

Bland uninspired hip hop - ten a penny will never be back

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2

Sometimes the short songs are the best or tie something together. Here, it just seems like noise... It's a real thinking man's album.

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2

A decent rap album, but nothing jumped out and grabbed me. 6.9/10

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2

I like the songs Phrentrow and Sacrifice, Break You Off and Complexity. All of the feature songs were good, except The Seed (2.0). Otherwise I didn't enjoy any of the songs and found it hard to engage with and properly listen to.

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2

Le basi sono proprio ben fatte e sono la cosa che mi ha colpito di più perché rendono l'album più vario. Per il resto, non ci è voluto molto al sopraggiungere del solito mal di testa. Se la voce fosse uno strumento musicale, chi rappa è come se usasse sempre la stessa nota, a ritmi e intensità diverse, ma sempre la stessa nota.

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2

None of the songs did it for me

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2

Hit and miss

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2

i'm only here to write about the last track. the rest of the album can fuck off back to its mid 2000s r'n'b nelly and kelly history bin. that last track is a musical journey through my past nights out. i have never heard a track before that i could just as easily have heard with all the trendy cunts in sankys, with crusties and punks at a warehouse rave, in a scallies kitchen, in a standard shit pub with a football team, in a hippies living room, in garlands or in the woods at glastonbury. the only things in common with hearing this track at all these places would be that i would be absolutely fucked and it would be at least 4 in the morning. how can such an aggressive track fill me with nothing but nostalgia? my mind is blown. however i can't give the album a high score because the rest of it was shite.

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2

Olipas aikamoista kokeellista sekoilua. Tätä ei yksi hittibiisi pelasta. Ei oikein selvinnyt onko tämä levy lintu vai kala, että mitä tässä on oikein pyritty saavuttamaan. Hooceeta, räppiä, vähän jatsahtavaa menoa ja sitten yksi radiohittibängeri.

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2

Not really my preferred style this time around... Not bad either, but I think the track titled !!!! cost it two stars alone.

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2

Het nummer "The Seed" is geweldig, maar de rest is gewoon rap en daar houdt ik niet van. Album is dus een tegenvaller. **

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2

Some nice sounds and cool songs but not my preferred style

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2

nu prea mi-a placut

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2

Some really cool moments when mixing musical styles. It had a strong musical landscape but at times it felt a bit on one level. Had the urge to skip at a few points, but I made it through. 2/5 - Didn't resonate with me.

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2

4/10

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2

Not my style, but interesting.

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2

Has that one familiar song. Rest is more rap

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2

I think I got my hopes up and was expecting more.

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2

There were two tracks I enjoyed but as for the rest, no thanks !

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2

El Hip Hop o Rap no es de mis género favoritos. Sólo por eso le pongo baja evaluación

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2

I wish this list would stop serving me hip hop, because it’s really not my thing. I guess this is a better sample of the genre, but see above.

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2

Yet another hip hop marathon of under-baked or half-realised ideas. Why can't the producers or artists see fit to trim the fat off these exhausting exercises in immoderation?

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2

Idk man de hä e int alls lika bra på andra lyssningen... o många refränger legit stinker

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2

Not my cup of tea. I like some Hip-Hop but this didn't do it for me. It did prompt me to go off and listen to Run DMC, The Beastie Boys and De La Soul, so not all bad.

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2

Shoutout to Swing Out Sister and of course The Fat Boys. This isn't anything I'd purposely revisit again. Maybe it just needed a little more Questlove.

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2

No so much.

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2

It sounded like too many competing styles trying to break through. A little too heavy for my liking. The live drums worked well and the lyrics sadly remain relevant twenty years later. But I like my hip hop old style. I found it unlistenable in parts. The track Water is a mess.

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2

Didn’t mind this. Some interesting beats, but sounded a bit of a mish-mash in terms of style and production, so didn’t really hang together as an album played end to end.

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2

aight

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2

Neo soul / progressive rap - these should be indicators that I'm going to enjoy this. The problem is that I don't like many of the songs. Is that simple enough? I shouldn't blanket it like that - "The Seed" is a good one, but it took 8 songs for me to enjoy a few. Not a good sign. I will say that the second half is definitely an improvement - one that's an interesting experimental spoken word piece is "Something In The Way of Things" which is probably my favourite. Overall it took too long to get going and find very few that were really catchy; that first half of music is too glitchy and chaotic for me, which I found it distracting and approaching annoying. Left me a bit disappointed. 4/10 2 stars.

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2

i didn’t enjoy this because some of the songs really bothered me in the way they were repetitive and sung. it was just annoying and some of them had good beginnings but all ended bad.

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2

I should have changed my settings to avoid rap as a genre! I do not get it! Why have I had four rap albums in the last week! Why are they all over an hour long! ^I wrote this at the start. It got better. ^^Changed my mind again. Too long. Got fed up.

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2

The Seed slaps, other than that...

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2

Rock You and The Seed 2.0 are fantastic... unfortunately i don't think there is much for me beyond that. They are definitely creative, i like the sampling in Quills and Thirsty is a major style shift, but it doesn't work for me. Props in that the album seems solid lyrically, with the key exception that Pussy Galore doesn't work like i think they want it to work.

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2

Am I frustrated? Yes. Does Water have to be 10+ minutes? There's so much promise that devolves into nothingness. I'm not frustrated. I'm mad.

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2

Good elements but not really my thing.

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2

Not my favorite, took several days to get all the way through.

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2

It didn’t get under my skin.

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2

Not really my cup of tea. Mixes too many genres. The one song that I really did like is "The Seed 2.0".

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2

Ein sehr guter Song auf dem Album (The Seed 2.0) Gutes Hip Hop Album

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2

Listenable to, but not really anything I could latch onto as above the norm.

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1

2/10

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1

Not bad, but nothing great. Definitely forgettable to me, a not-so-fan of rap. Didn't finish.

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1

Hip hop, rap Y Así me dan harta hueva

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1

the roots. rap. enough said.. 1 stjärna

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1

Not a fan of the music

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1

ble stressa og agitated

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1

Parece conceptual, no me he parado a entender la letra...

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1

Not for me

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1

got to the third track. Not for me.

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1

This is horrible haha

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1

awful

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1

I listened to a bit and it wasn't my thing. Sometimes I can appreciate rap when the background music is more interesting and I can better understand what they're actually saying, but this didn't really have that.

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1

Nah

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1

“The album is named after the discredited pseudoscience of phrenology, the study of head shapes.” Excluding the recently discovered “pammy” head.

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1

couldn't do it. Don't see the attraction.

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1

What lyrics I could understand I did not enjoy. Some of the samples were grating. I gave it a few songs before I was done.

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1

lol

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1

I wasn't a fan of rap before this and I certainly didn't leave this album with any more of a desire to explore the genre. I mean I enjoyed the 20-second intro which fades into the first song but after that, these songs just seem to be the same beat over and over. Would really listen again...

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1

Experimental and incoherent. Tried this a few times but very little memorable or remarkable.

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1

"The Seed" had a nice musical hook to it: the only thing that will get me to listen to crap like this.

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1

Not a good start to find Spotify #plays under 1500 for some of the songs. And was for good reason. The only songs that do not offend the ear are those where The Roots teamed up with other artists. "Sacrifice" with Nelly is OK and some melody. "The Seed" with Cody Chesnutt is a lot more mainstream, but still falls very short. Big fat zero. F

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1

Nope!!!! F

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1

Wow I hate this a lot and I'm only writing this whilst listening to track 2. Track 1 is probably my fave as it's only 20s long and a considerable part of that is silence. Thoughts @ Work is sampling the incredible bongo band, which I only know because of this 1001 albums list and that made me chuckle!

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1

nope

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1

Just really not my thing very nostalgic sound

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Continua super atual. Super bem produzido, do início ao fim. Dá pra colocar pra tocar quando tiver visita ou tiver que impressionar alguém. Reconheci "The Seed" da época de adolescente.

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Ingen stor The Roots-fan

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Up tempo. Good to workout to (specifically Thought @ Work).

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a lot of variety with some good sounds, but fairly inconsistent

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