with game theory, rising down, and now how i got over, they are seriously putting out some of the strongest material of their career. after being on the scene so long, that's really fucking impressive.
6. "4 me, the last 3 albums all sound like a single blur of melancholy drone..." In response to Reply # 4
(GT, RD, HIGO)
only speaking for myself.
i know it's not that simple, and i know there's not really just one mood or whatever, but all in all, for me it's all been feeling rather monotonous, colorless, cloudy, depressing, awash in the least appealing aspects of indie rock (to me).
the musicianship is still great, black thought is still sharp (though a lot more predictable), and i'm willing to just chalk it up to their artistic vision simply deviating further from my own personal palette.
there have definitely been some stand out tracks that i like:
GT: Dilla intro title track don't feel right baby here i come clock with no hands
RD: title track get busy the show
HIGO: the intro the interludes
( the last album i sincerely LOVED was Phren, my #1 favorite is TFA, and with Come Alive in the middle, they form voltron. )
7. "yes" In response to Reply # 6 Mon Aug-30-10 02:36 PM by Airbreed
>for me it's all >been feeling rather monotonous, colorless, cloudy, depressing, >awash in the least appealing aspects of indie rock (to me).
you're not alone. i think the roots have always done what they do to masterfully grow and push boundary lines further apart without compromising to what's popular on the radio or to the palatte of their fans. in some ways i think its good because they help their fan base move beyond the comfort zone they built with their adulation of the roots. personally i appreciate the changes they've made over the years but you're spot on about their recent music sounding dank and moody. and im kinda weary of it.
the indie rock angle is something else that's starting to trouble me only because they seem to have been gradually doing more of it over the past three albums--where as that street corner/boom-bap Hip Hop sound has been somewhat given a backseat, only to be allowed to ride upfront only when there's room to do so. to me, higo says fuck it -- we're gonna take it ALL THE WAY there.
higo is a good album cover to cover. but id hate for the roots to fall into a niche group. and that's not what ive known them to be over the years.
8. "nice to hear i'm not the only 1. i half expected to get killed lol" In response to Reply # 7
>you're not alone. i think the roots have always done what they >do to masterfully grow and push boundary lines further apart >without compromising to what's popular on the radio or to the >palatte of their fans. in some ways i think its good because >they help their fan base move beyond the comfort zone they >built with their adulation of the roots. : see and that's one of the things i LOVED about Phrenology. Or any of their 90's albums for that matter. they always kept you on your toes. imho, their stuff in recent years has been *more* predictable.
>personally i >appreciate the changes they've made over the years but you're >spot on about their recent music sounding dank and moody. and >im kinda weary of it. : bingo...those are the perfect adjective: dank/moody/weary.
>higo is a good album cover to cover. but id hate for the roots >to fall into a niche group. and that's not what ive known them >to be over the years. : agreed on all. i'll agree higo is a good album of good musicians playing objectively good music. just nothing that i personally enjoy, and i'm just one fan so whatever. but it is starting to feel like they've settled into a niche with that sound, and that would be a personal tragedy lol
more power to them though. their sandwiches are great!
9. "I personally love every album from ....." In response to Reply # 8
The Roots. From DYWM 2 HIGO every album is great. As far as sales people outgrow music as they get older... Iam not one of those people Im 33 and Im always gonna listen and buy quality music. But also think of all the fans that have passed away.... or are locked up. For instance both my brothers Trap and PROBE R.I.P. whould have bought HIGO... SO I bought 2 copies. I hope I never see the day where we can't purchase music physically!!!!
10. "RE: yes" In response to Reply # 7 Tue Sep-21-10 02:21 AM by Moby Dick
@Airbreed and all the "indie", "dreary" complaints
This album is much too exceptional to the two prior. I haven't so enjoyed and consistently played a Roots album this much since "The Tipping Point" upon its release.
After "Rising Down" I was kind of in agreement about the dreary thing. "Game Theory" came during a hard time in my life so I appreciated it but will always associate that album with dark times. With "Rising Down", in a more specific form than just dreary: beginning and ending the album with beefs on the phone was just awkward. I could never play this album for potential converts. It felt kind of like a 'uncensored bio of the roots' album that only diehards could appreciate yet the establishment reviews didn't reflect that which was relieving. Still...I kept that one to myself.
But "How I Got Over"...good god, what another brilliant album for the catalog. I love its three segments: a) tough introspection, vivid societal descriptions b) how to overcome all of that and pick up the pieces c) party tracks. "Hustla" is hilarious. Funniest use of auto-tune and a wink acknowledgment to its overplayed use.
Now, to the "indie" thing:
The Roots have always reflected trends of era for each album's release and ?uest has described this pretty in depth. You know the story: Organix and DYWM are the jazz influences and homage to Native Tongues, Illadelph (speaking of dreary) is their response to The Chronic craze, TFA is the Soulquarian beginning and neo-soul notch, Phrenology is their most ambitious in regards to trends yet the production is probably their most upfront which was kind of a trend back in 99-03 -- the loudness era, The Tipping Point was admitted by ?uest as their biggest attempt to make a mainstream record.
And indie was always there running parallel with the Roots. They were on Geffen during the Nirvana wave, ?uest considered "OK Computer" influential on the production of TFA, "The Seed" was their rock crossover, etc. So when they started sampling Radiohead on "Atonement", the conversion, if you even want to call it that, made sense.
Now heads are getting snobby about the perceived indie focus. OK, so maybe it could have been the Jazzyfatnastees instead of Dirty Projectors to intro. But Monsters of Folk and Joanna Newsom serve a purpose and it's not just $$. They're so well-utilized as samples on the record that the indie presence doesn't mean anything or deter from the record. Unless you want it to. Hell, the crisp attack of Blackthought sounds even better coming in after Jim James warbly voice. Could have been worse. Could have sampled a Phil Collins song. (Lol: "That's All 2.0") And Joanna's voice is inimitable. The echo effect ?uest subtly adds from the transition into "Shine On" and throughout for Newsom's voice is remarkable.
But ultimately, if you can't hear how uplifting and brilliant this record is, I don't understand you.