by The Roots
I tried writing a proper music journo-style introduction to The Roots for those unfamiliar with their ouevre, but I had to erase it as... well, frankly I was boring myself. Screw it! Phrenology is an incredible album; experimental, energetic, ambitious and quite un-fucking-conscionably cool. Everyone should own Phrenology. I mean, Jesus, the hidden tracks alone are better than the stuff most people put out as singles. It opens with the almost unlistenably harsh, abrasive and repetitive Rock You, and closes with a ten-minute long piece of abstract poetry from the point of a scary old tramp ranting about crack addiction and the Devil. (Uh, I think) Sandwiched between these are several examples of the very finest music you are ever going to hear. 'The Seed (2.0)' blends rap with rock, not in a Played Out Fred Durst Shiteating Embarrassment kind of way but in a manner that makes you want to run out into the street and hump the nearest police car out of sheer unbearable joie de vivre. And then there is the simply indescribable 'Thought@Work'. It opens with a break as old as hip-hop itself, and then... Christ, how to explain it? When I first heard this track, I remember thinking, as it opened: "...this better be going somewhere." And then, it did. And I remember thinking:
"...that is ILL."
I used the word 'ill'. Only in my own head, but nonetheless. I think that says it all.