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"Phrenology" came in 2002 as The Roots' fifth album. The Philadelphia Hip Hop band, headed by drummer, ?uestlove and MC, Black Thought, come back again with even mre original work to show how Hip Hop can fuse with just about anything to come up with the same high-quality results.
2. "Rock You"
In knowledge of the standad of the rest of the release, I thought that they went for the wrong opening track to the album as this one is really quite avarege in comparison to the rest of it, and it doesn't give too good an impression as we begin things. However you ma enjoy it as they go for a vaugely Rock-influenced tune.
3. "!!!!!!!" (Lude)
Nelly Furtado joins them on this one, and it has them perform a very different track as they do a tune which seems to take on the types of aspects which were prominant on the lead single. The smooher side of things works for the group. However I don't want to see a complete change over to the Neo-Soul-type of Hip Hop.
5. "Rolling with Heat"
I saw this one as they best thing on the whole album, and I don't know how anyone could say an different from this as you get the funkiest synth accompanying them as they perofm an up-temopoo one alongside Talib Kweli. I compleetly rips through the album, and stands out unlike any other on the release.
6. "WAOK (Ay) Rollcall" (Lude)
7. "Thought @ Work"
For me, this was one of the best tracks off the album. On it, you have Black Thought taking things back to the ld School as he takes on the Sugarhill Gang's "Apache", and shows how strong his MCing skills are. It is straight fire from him as it comes out, and all attention is put on him as the rest of the band take a step backand let him get busy.
8. "The Seed 2.0"
This one has them completly changig what they are about, and as soon as look hear the thing, it becomes apparent that they have made significant changes from their earlier years. Initialy, I had no love for this one, however it clearly improves with time as they try to stick in some Rock.
9. "Break You Off"
This is one of very few Roots singles whihc maanged to make animpact upon the commerical scne. On it, you have themperforming with the Ne-Soul musician Musiq Soulchild, who sings the hook, and they really take things in a new direction here by doing an emotive one about the iminant break-up of a relationship.
You have a lively one on this one with a complex arangement of live instruments and DJing too. Towards the end of the ten-minute-long track, you have the group returning to their earlier years as it has them doing some free-form Jazz at the end of it, and although I don't really get it, I could feel what they did.
The energy levels are brought right up again on this as they show their proper true Hip Hop on this one. It is a high-impact one which has Thought really power through with rapid-fire rhymes which comment on the way that he approaches the mic(rophone), and what effect this has upon others who here it.
12. "Pussy Galore"
For this track, you have the group essentially tking about the 'sex sells' concept, and Black Thought gives various examples of this from the world of entieprise, down to much darker places too. Thought's words are Thought provoking as he speaks of how an intelligent young woman turns to prositution to pay for tution fees, and how this supports the theory.
Jill Scott joins them for this one, again bringing in more Neo-Soul to this one, and I found that on this one it led to much more exciting results as you have her sining a memorable hook, which sets up a track that has Thought MCing about simila themes to what was foudn on "Break You Off", just with more to the story as Thought takes on the role of a lover to a woman who already has a man.
14. "Something in the Way of Things" (Outro)
As all Roots albums, I liked this one quite a lot. It has them approach things in a very different way by taking influence from the then-emmerging Neo-Soul scene. As well as these mellowing, smooth reacks from them, they do kick us withg some real Hip Hop in the form of Old School inspired wok, and tunes which are far ahead of the time.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Phrentrow - The Roots, Ursula Rucker
2 Rock You
4 Sacrifice - The Roots, Nelly Furtado
5 Rolling With Heat - The Roots, Talib Kweli
6 WAOK (Ay) Rollcall - The Roots, Ursula Rucker
7 Thought @ Work
8 The Seed (2.0) - The Roots, Cody Chestnutt
9 Break You Off - The Roots, Musiq
10 Water The First Movement/ Water The Abyss/ Water The Drowning
11 Quills - The Roots, Tracey Moore
12 Pussy Galore
13 Complexity - The Roots, Jill Scott
14 Something In The Way Of Things (In Town)
15 Act Too (The Love Of My Life)
16 Non-Musical Silence (The Roots/Phrenology)
17 Non-Musical Silence (The Roots/Phrenology)
18 Non-Musical Silence (The Roots/Phrenology)
19 Non-Musical Silence (The Roots/Phrenology)