Phrenology [Explicit Lyrics]

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ron Hart
You would think that after winning a Grammy, backing Jay-Z on his MTV Unplugged venture, and appearing in a Coca-Cola commercial, the Roots would be ready to floss and reap the benefits of mainstream acceptance. But after one listen to the sixth album from Philadelphia's pioneering, decade-old rap band, it's clear that the six-man collective has no intention of selling out. In fact, they've become even more experimental. Loaded with cameos from an eclectic mix of artists including Talib Kweli, Nelly Furtado, and poet Amiri Baraka, Phrenology is by far the Roots' most challenging album to date. With the addition of guitarist Ben Kenney, rapper Black Thought, drummer ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ron Hart
You would think that after winning a Grammy, backing Jay-Z on his MTV Unplugged venture, and appearing in a Coca-Cola commercial, the Roots would be ready to floss and reap the benefits of mainstream acceptance. But after one listen to the sixth album from Philadelphia's pioneering, decade-old rap band, it's clear that the six-man collective has no intention of selling out. In fact, they've become even more experimental. Loaded with cameos from an eclectic mix of artists including Talib Kweli, Nelly Furtado, and poet Amiri Baraka, Phrenology is by far the Roots' most challenging album to date. With the addition of guitarist Ben Kenney, rapper Black Thought, drummer ?uestlove, the fellas prove, as do their colleagues Mos Def and Saul Williams, that live hip-hop can rock the house -- most notably on tracks such as the punk-flavored "!!!!!!!" and "The Seed 2.0," featuring Terence Trent D'Arby–reminiscent newcomer Cody Chesnutt. The Roots once again get mellow on the neo-soul tip in the vein of their Grammy Award–winning song "You Got Me" with Erykah Badu; "Break You Off," features Philly neighbor Musiq; "Quills" samples Swing Out Sister with vocals from Tracey Moore of the Jazzyfatnastees; and the jazzy "Complexity," spotlights Jill Scott. The guys really get to flex their creativity, however, on the ten-minute "Water," where avant-garde guitar god James "Blood" Ulmer leads the Roots into the psychedelic underworld of free jazz. And it's that kind of progressive musical vision that keeps the Roots essential to today's hip-hop.
All Music Guide - Steve Huey
The easy-flowing Things Fall Apart made the Roots one of the most popular artists of alternative rap's second wave. Anticipated nearly as much as it was delayed, the proper studio follow-up, Phrenology, finally appeared in late 2002, after much perfectionist tinkering by the band -- so much that the liner notes include recording dates covering a span of two years and, sometimes, histories for the individual tracks. Coffeehouse music programmers beware: Phrenology is not Things Fall Apart redux; it's a challenging, hugely ambitious opus that's by turns brilliant and bewildering, as it strains to push the very sound of hip-hop into the future. Despite a few gentler tracks like the Nelly Furtado and Jill Scott guest spots, Phrenology is the hardest-hitting Roots album to date, partly because it's their most successful attempt to re-create their concert punch in the studio. ?uestlove's drums positively boom out of the speakers on the Talib Kweli duet "Rolling With Heat"; the fantastic, lean guitar groover "The Seed 2.0" with neo-soul auteur Cody ChesnuTT; and the opening section of "Water." The ten-minute "Water" is the album's centerpiece, a powerful look at former Roots MC Malik B.'s drug problems that morphs into a downright avant-garde sound collage. Similarly, lead single "Break You Off," a neo-soul duet with Musiq, winds up in a melange of drum'n'bass programming and live strings. If moves like those, or the speed-blur Bad Brains punk of "!!!!!!!," or the drum'n'bass backdrop of poet Amiri Baraka's "Something in the Way of Things In Town" can seem self-consciously eclectic, it's also true that Phrenology is one of those albums where the indulgences and far-out experiments make it that much more fascinating, whether they work or not. Plus, slamming grooves like "Rock You," "Thought @ Work," and the aforementioned "The Seed 2.0" keep things exciting and vital. If this really is the future of hip-hop, then the sky is the limit. [The two hidden bonus tracks are "Rhymes and Ammo," the Talib Kweli collaboration that appeared on Soundbombing, Vol. 3, and "Something to See," another techno-inflected jam.]
Rolling Stone - Pat Blashill
With their fifth studio record, Phrenology, they finally become what we've always hoped they would be: a hip-hop band that strikes a very funky balance between righteousness and humor, between headbanging grooves and truth-telling.
The Fader
Phrenology is a staggering step away from the Roots' previous work. It comes as a fast and furious musical juggernaut, with the unit as a cohesive whole, rocking harder than their earlier pioneering work that spawned a thousand neo-soul dreams.

With their fifth studio record, Phrenology, they finally become what we've always hoped they would be: a hip-hop band that strikes a very funky balance between righteousness and humor, between headbanging grooves and truth-telling.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/26/2002
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008811299620
  • Catalog Number: 112996
  • Sales rank: 3,861

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Phrentrow (0:18)
  2. 2 Rock You (3:12)
  3. 3 !!!!!!! (0:24)
  4. 4 Sacrifice - Nelly Furtado (4:44)
  5. 5 Rolling With Heat - Talib Kweli (3:42)
  6. 6 Waok (Ay) Rollcall (1:00)
  7. 7 Thought @ Work (4:58)
  8. 8 The Seed (2.0) - Cody ChesnuTT (4:27)
  9. 9 Break You Off - Musiq (Soulchild) (7:27)
  10. 10 Water (10:24)
  11. 11 Quills (4:21)
  12. 12 Pussy Galore (4:29)
  13. 13 Complexity - Jill Scott (4:47)
  14. 14 Something in the Way of Things (In Town) - Jill Scott (7:16)
  15. 15 [Untitled Track] (0:20)
  16. 16 [Untitled Track] (0:20)
  17. 17 [Untitled Track] (7:59)
  18. 18 [Untitled Track] (0:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Roots Primary Artist
James Blood Ulmer Guitar
Jef Lee Johnson Guitar
James Poyser Strings, Moog Synthesizer
Rahzel Drums
Black Thought Vocals
?uestlove Drums
Talib Kweli Vocals
Jill Scott Vocals
Nelly Furtado Background Vocals
Tracey Moore Background Music
Kamiah "Little Klang" Gray Keyboards, Klangspiel
Nuah Vi Cello
Omar Edwards ARP
Sarah Chun Cello
Michelle Golder Cello
Hope Wilson screams
Technical Credits
L. Ron Hubbard Composer
Jeff Chestek Engineer
Chris Gehringer Mastering
Jon Smeltz Engineer
Scott Spencer Storch Producer
DJ Scratch Producer
Richard Nichols Executive Producer
Ursula Rucker Contributor
A.P. Thompson Composer
Tom Coyne Mastering
Malik B. Contributor
Karriem Riggins Producer
?uestlove Producer, Contributor
Tariq Trotter Composer
Mos Def Contributor
Steve Mandel Engineer
Jim Bottari Engineer
Carlos "Storm" Martinez Engineer
Musiq (Soulchild) Composer
Alicia Keys Contributor
Tahir Producer
Cody ChesnuTT Producer
Kamiah "Little Klang" Gray Producer
Omar Edwards Contributor
Robert "LB" Dorsey Engineer
Tom "Evil Prints" Huck Illustrations
Kareem Da Bawl Producer
Omar the Scholar Producer
Kelo Saunders Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Add this to your collection

    The Roots sound is amazing.They mix so many styles together and the end result is breathtaking. Their wild style and off the wall lyrics add kick to the album. ?uestlove and his drumming is original. If you want to listen to a new sound and want to take a chance, then my friend I suggest you buy this cd.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Instant Classic

    The best Roots album by far. The closest sounding to their live shows. It is obvious they have become true masters of their sound. Black Thought's lyrics surpass the last album's; and very close to his work on Illadelph Halflife. However he is much more versatile than he has every been with his delivery. This is also the most explicit the Roots have ever been with much metaphorical sexual content; the most profanity the group has ever used, which is the album's only downside. This album is the best rap album in two years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It's about time

    The world deserves a cd like this every so often-one of those cd's that rattle your thoughts and stir up that flame of yours that you almost forgot about. The Roots have finally come into their own. Having undergone a journey that we have witnessed throughout, they have reached there destination, for now at least. "Phrenology" truly shows their musical genius, and it is a cd not to passed by.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It Just Don't Stop

    Phrenology is the latest in line of well-thought out albums by the Roots that continue to impress. Continually they are the perennial group to produce the hottest beats with the illest baselines. This in one more album that no one should hesitate to add to their collection.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews