Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Things Fall Apart [Limited Edition Cover]
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
They've long been hip-hop's best band, for whatever that's worth, and in their amazing live shows they've shown an ability to pay homage to the past and look to the future--all while living firmly in the now. But on Things... more »
Amazon.com's Best of 1999
They've long been hip-hop's best band, for whatever that's worth, and in their amazing live shows they've shown an ability to pay homage to the past and look to the future--all while living firmly in the now. But on Things Fall Apart, the Roots finally pull their promise and ability together, and the world's started to pay attention. --Randy Silver
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Musical artistry at its very best
Kevin Patterson | 06/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Roots are phenomenal, the most musically gifted hip-hop group ever. I mean, they have got it all: live bass and drums, a human rhythm section, dope MCs, and so on. If you've ever seen them live, you know what I'm talking about. These cats are truly artists, not simply musicians. The creativity and skill that each member possesses is mind blowing, especially drummer ?uestlove. This album jives and grooves like very few ever have, especially hip-hop ones. "Things Fall Apart" could be a avant-garde jazz album, if the vocals were removed. But MCs Black Thought and Malik B are like instruments themselves, deftly flowing along with the rest of the group while displaying incredible lyric dexterity. This is a mainstream album, but as conscious and--for lack of a better word--"real" as anything coming out of the underground. There are no weak spots, and plenty of strong ones. Check out "Dynamite", "Double Trouble", and "The Next Movement" especially."
Kevin Patterson | Chester, PA | 01/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm seen The Roots do lots of innovative things over the years but this has to be the sum of those hard years toiling. This album is wide range. "The Next Movement" can bang in clubs. "Act Too: Love of My Life" can hold you down when you relax at home being introspect. "Without a Doubt" is the ideal track when you want to remember old-school hip-hop without having to dig through your crates. This album does soooo many different things and encompasses soooo many different moods, but at no time does it seem thrown together like a compilation album. It remains coherent partly because each track was sequenced to almost queue up the next song. The interludes flowed smoothly in and out without breaking up the feeling of the overall composition. The band was at their best. Even the human beatboxes (Scratch & Rahzel) were employed thoughtfully. While Black Thought was at the top of his game as the group MC, guest appearances by Common, Mos Def, Dice Raw and Eve were strong enough to be memorable but sparse enough to not take away from the groups efforts. Even secondary group MC, Malik B, lends expert verses where necessary. And to close out the album, Ursula Rucker tells her most chilling and personal poem ever. Point blank, THIS ALBUM IS DOPE!!!! If you don't get your hands on Things Fall Apart, you are doing yourself a great disservice. (P.S. keep listening after Ursula Rucker's poem)"
The best! and still getting better
Jess Kroll | an island in the middle of the Pacific | 05/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Roots have improved by leaps and bounds with every successive release. Organix and Do You Want More contained that original "organic hip hop jazz" sound for which they were first noticed. However, the jam session feel to them, while being great on it's own, eventually grew tiresome. Illadelph Halflife brought in a more aggressive feel to the mix, while still maintaining a bit of the improv qualities of the first two releases. However, it made them sound more like any other rap group and less like the progressive hip hoppers that they are. Yet Illadelph also began the experiment quality that cares us into this release. On Things Fall Apart, The Roots add a new level to their music, a whole new type of refinement and sophistication. Yet while the over-all feel of the album is more polished, there are still moments that shoot back to their previous work. The jam session/bassment feel is still present, the hard edged agressiveness is still there, but both have been somewhat developed and reflect that greatly. The newest element, and the one that makes this album stand out the most among Roots releases, is the increase in knowledge of the studio and composition. These developments are reflected in the two of the earliest songs on the album, "Table of Contents" (where the instruments play in different meters much like some jazz musicians) and "Step Into the Realm" (with the drum beat fading in and out in perfect time with breaks in the lyrics, perfectly fitted and layered together). The Roots have not lost anything in their music, they have just added more (including the presence of a DJ on "The Next Movement"). Even the guests on the album are well suited for the sound. Common ("Love of my Life") and Mos Def ("Double Trouble") fit so well to The Roots mentality and style. Even Eve, who never seems to acknowledge what The Roots did for her and who's recent work wouldn't suggest it, fits beautifully into the part of Black Thought's girlfriend in "You Got Me". While it may be one of their most commercial songs ever, "You Got Me" also embodies everything The Roots do so well and hopefully with its airplay and win at the Grammys will work as a summation of their sound and get more people interested in their music. No Roots album would be complete without the Ursula Rucker track, and here she offers what I think is her most powerful and chilling piece to date, with brilliant background music. And of course Black Thought and Malik B. are still two of the best there are, while Dice Raw continues to improve with every verse. The Roots are to hip hop what Bird, Dizzy and Monk are to jazz, the intellectualization of the artform, focusing more on theory and execution than on making people want to dance. Safe to say that ?uestlove alone has more talent in the first four inches of his 'fro than Fluff Daddy and Master Pee have in their entire record labels. The best thing about this album however is that it's their fourth and they still continue to grow, experiment, improve, and expand."