Philadelphia's The Roots, return with their highly anticipated 6th album THE TIPPING POINT. The music on this album has a little harder edge thatn their previous release and is as in your face as the ominous album image.
Philadelphia's The Roots, return with their highly anticipated 6th album THE TIPPING POINT. The music on this album has a little harder edge thatn their previous release and is as in your face as the ominous album image.
602498623763

Details

Format: CD
Label: GEFFEN RECORDS
Catalog: 257302
Rel. Date: 07/13/2004
UPC: 602498623763

Tipping Point
Artist: Roots
Format: CD
New: Not in stock
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Philadelphia's The Roots, return with their highly anticipated 6th album THE TIPPING POINT. The music on this album has a little harder edge thatn their previous release and is as in your face as the ominous album image.

Reviews:

There's a battle going on, people, and the minute Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson first struck stick to drum to create resonant sound in real time, he and the Roots were picked for a side. Now, no one would call ?uest close-minded-dude even gives John Mayer props. But as outside champions of "real" music continue to bewail the mechanical, the inorganic and-heaven forfend!-the commercial, a hip-hop band inevitably lugs plenty of ideological baggage into the spotlight. Sure enough, the Roots have attracted their share of quasi-luddites and underground puritans-chat room quarterbacks are even now deeming superproducer Scott Storch's hardly overstated work on "Don't Say Nuthin'," the crew's latest single, "a crime against drums."

Given that context, Black Thought gets the gas face for his slip on "Star/Pointro," the first cut on the Roots' sixth studio disc, The Tipping Point. Not only does the MC claim, "Hip-hop is not pop like Kylie Minogue" (so, what's it pop like, then?), but he pathetically fails to rhyme a mispronounced "Mi-nogg" with "highly evolved" (maybe you could've tried Velvet Revolver, BT?) That single cheap shot upsets the track's careful balancing act, a dialectic between the scratchy record playing Sly & the Family Stone's "Everybody is a Star" and the Roots funking along toward their eventual dub chamber submergence-a subtle tweaking of audience prejudice about what "live music" means.

"Introducing the band you've got to see to believe," BT rhymes on that same track, and for years that was their problem: studio technology making musicianship redundant. The band's first unmitigated triumph, Phrenology, largely sidestepped this issue by stressing versatility over virtuosity; so ferocious was its drive to condense African-American musical history onto a single disc I'm surprised they didn't format the tunes as mp3s to squeeze more in. The Tipping Point scales back those ambitions (not that the band had much of a choice-spread their arms any wider and they'd be pulling in field hollers, Cecil Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr.) but it also more directly confronts what it means to be a hip-hop band.

Though culled from jam sessions, the tracks on The Tipping Point are far from shapeless. They're too rhythmically taut to range into some noodlicious anybody-seen-the-hook? vacuum (one advantage of placing your drummer in charge) and they're often based around a single (though not always simple) pattern. "Web" is essentially a duet between ?uestlove and Black Thought, with Leonard Hubbard adding little more than a single bass thump per verse. And all additional details are carefully chosen-"Duck Down" actually uses percussive quacks, as well as a unrelenting bass-drum pedal that gives ?uestlove's right ankle a serious workout. Overall, the band applies the judiciousness and focus it's gained with age to its pre-Phrenology style.

Highly evolved, as Black Thought might say. And sure enough, the MC's scaled a couple rungs himself. He still occasionally sounds like Talib Kweli and De La Soul's Posdnuos, but even more often he sounds like a seeker, a man too busy asking questions to worry about his own originality-or, for that matter, the originality of his questions. He's allowed a line like "Don't want to be the Ruben Studdard and come off less threatening" because he's enacting the genuine fear and confusion he shares with his listeners. He's an MC who offers more awareness than insight, just as the Roots are a band that celebrates and interrogates their culture rather than advancing it. And their combined achievement is not without honor.

"There's a battle going on, people, and the minute Ahmir ""?uestlove"" Thompson first struck stick to drum to create resonant sound in real time, he and the Roots were picked for a side. Now, no one would call ?uest close-minded-dude even gives John Mayer props. But as outside champions of ""real"" music continue to bewail the mechanical, the inorganic and-heaven forfend!-the commercial, a hip-hop band inevitably lugs plenty of ideological baggage into the spotlight. Sure enough, the Roots have attracted their share of quasi-luddites and underground puritans-chat room quarterbacks are even now deeming superproducer Scott Storch's hardly overstated work on ""Don't Say Nuthin',"" the crew's latest single, ""a crime against drums.""

Given that context, Black Thought gets the gas face for his slip on ""Star/Pointro,"" the first cut on the Roots' sixth studio disc, The Tipping Point. Not only does the MC claim, ""Hip-hop is not pop like Kylie Minogue"" (so, what's it pop like, then?), but he pathetically fails to rhyme a mispronounced ""Mi-nogg"" with ""highly evolved"" (maybe you could've tried Velvet Revolver, BT?) That single cheap shot upsets the track's careful balancing act, a dialectic between the scratchy record playing Sly & the Family Stone's ""Everybody is a Star"" and the Roots funking along toward their eventual dub chamber submergence-a subtle tweaking of audience prejudice about what ""live music"" means.

""Introducing the band you've got to see to believe,"" BT rhymes on that same track, and for years that was their problem: studio technology making musicianship redundant. The band's first unmitigated triumph, Phrenology, largely sidestepped this issue by stressing versatility over virtuosity; so ferocious was its drive to condense African-American musical history onto a single disc I'm surprised they didn't format the tunes as mp3s to squeeze more in. The Tipping Point scales back those ambitions (not that the band had much of a choice-spread their arms any wider and they'd be pulling in field hollers, Cecil Taylor and Sammy Davis, Jr.) but it also more directly confronts what it means to be a hip-hop band.

Though culled from jam sessions, the tracks on The Tipping Point are far from shapeless. They're too rhythmically taut to range into some noodlicious anybody-seen-the-hook? vacuum (one advantage of placing your drummer in charge) and they're often based around a single (though not always simple) pattern. ""Web"" is essentially a duet between ?uestlove and Black Thought, with Leonard Hubbard adding little more than a single bass thump per verse. And all additional details are carefully chosen-""Duck Down"" actually uses percussive quacks, as well as a unrelenting bass-drum pedal that gives ?uestlove's right ankle a serious workout. Overall, the band applies the judiciousness and focus it's gained with age to its pre-Phrenology style.

Highly evolved, as Black Thought might say. And sure enough, the MC's scaled a couple rungs himself. He still occasionally sounds like Talib Kweli and De La Soul's Posdnuos, but even more often he sounds like a seeker, a man too busy asking questions to worry about his own originality-or, for that matter, the originality of his questions. He's allowed a line like ""Don't want to be the Ruben Studdard and come off less threatening"" because he's enacting the genuine fear and confusion he shares with his listeners. He's an MC who offers more awareness than insight, just as the Roots are a band that celebrates and interrogates their culture rather than advancing it. And their combined achievement is not without honor.

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