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Wed Nov-16-11 12:39 AM

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"The Roots - Undun reviews "


          

This thread might be the official review thread for Undun.


Review #1:
-------------------------------------------
Johnbook put up the first official review earlier today, 11/15/2011.

http://kevinnottingham.com/2011/11/15/the-roots-undun/

I'm not going to swipe it - give him the page views.

Has samples of "Lighthouse" and "The Other Side" that you haven't heard yet.

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
man those snippets have me drooling!
Nov 16th 2011
1
^^This
Nov 21st 2011
6
awesome
Nov 16th 2011
2
My impressions
Nov 16th 2011
3
Eddie "STATS" 10 Out of 10: Track By Track Preview
Nov 16th 2011
4
If you find any more reviews post em here
Nov 20th 2011
5
Press: ?uestlove on the Huffinton post
Nov 21st 2011
7
Like on on-going PHD thesis going no where.
Nov 21st 2011
8
LittleX: like a hose that is forever huffed.
Nov 22nd 2011
9
sounds like a cunninlynguists album n/m
Nov 22nd 2011
10
yeah, it does sound like a dope album
Nov 24th 2011
11
LOL
Nov 26th 2011
16
I'm saying like that's a bad thing lol
Nov 29th 2011
24
      i didn't mean it in a bad way at all.
Nov 29th 2011
56
           oh. okay
Dec 02nd 2011
121
           which ones better?
Dec 07th 2011
190
yeah..it's epically great.
Dec 20th 2011
238
The Roots played a snippet Kool On on Jimmy Fallon
Nov 24th 2011
12
prolly the only time they'll do it live ...
Dec 08th 2011
196
These ?uest interviews are like the liner notes,,new interview
Nov 25th 2011
13
definitely a dope read on this one!
Nov 25th 2011
14
I didn't even know there was a new album.
Nov 25th 2011
15
Ny Daily news review
Nov 26th 2011
17
Nov 28th 2011
18
Just finished listening... pretty blown away
Nov 28th 2011
19
haven't heard the stream
Nov 29th 2011
20
oh, yeah?
Nov 29th 2011
21
I haven't heard a single negative thing said about the album
Nov 29th 2011
22
Same here, be back later with thoughts n/m
Nov 29th 2011
23
      where are y'all hearing it?
Nov 29th 2011
25
           A low quality rip of a stream was ripped
Nov 29th 2011
26
           how can i hear this?
Nov 29th 2011
27
           I streamed it n/m
Nov 29th 2011
31
Everything I've Heard So Far (Most of It)
Nov 29th 2011
28
the album sounds great.
Nov 29th 2011
29
RE: The Roots - Undun reviews
Nov 29th 2011
30
Shit...
Dec 01st 2011
95
album is streaming, in full, at NPR (link)
Nov 29th 2011
32
has anyone seen a vinyl pre-order?
Nov 29th 2011
33
goddammit at these fuckin choruses
Nov 29th 2011
34
I disagree
Nov 29th 2011
35
good, cause i like make my!
Nov 29th 2011
37
nah, i i don't see any issues with the choruses.
Nov 29th 2011
36
good it gets better
Nov 29th 2011
38
only one bad to me is One Time. a struggle chorus if i ever heard one.
Nov 29th 2011
40
I liked that
Nov 29th 2011
41
      no problems with the content - it's just horribly delivered.
Nov 29th 2011
44
I Think Dice Did A Great Job On The Hooks
Nov 29th 2011
45
I agree Dice did great on the hooks
Nov 29th 2011
57
they aren't great but
Nov 30th 2011
85
Co-Sign
Dec 01st 2011
106
these choruses
Dec 06th 2011
165
i like them...it brings balance
Dec 07th 2011
184
I felt this way at first but after letting the album soak in I hear them...
Dec 12th 2011
225
i wish tip the scale was available as an mp3
Nov 29th 2011
39
are you kidding me? only a few tracks in
Nov 29th 2011
42
RE: The Roots - Undun reviews
Nov 29th 2011
43
It's Great
Nov 29th 2011
46
What the fuck is this? Kool On ?
Nov 29th 2011
47
Porn was a beast on HIGO
Nov 29th 2011
48
      that's why i'm scratching my head.
Nov 29th 2011
49
      RE: Porn was a beast on HIGO
Nov 29th 2011
50
           fuck me, forgot this is his third
Nov 30th 2011
83
Phenomenal.
Nov 29th 2011
51
the end of tip the scale is beautiful.
Nov 29th 2011
52
I kind of agree
Nov 29th 2011
55
I'm lovin Lighthouse
Nov 29th 2011
53
Kool On is probably my fav though
Dec 03rd 2011
134
      Kool on and Lighthouse of my favorite songs of the year really.
Dec 20th 2011
239
off my first few listens, im not into this at all
Nov 29th 2011
54
I just finished listening to the album, it gave me a "Water" type feel
Nov 29th 2011
58
RE: I just finished listening to the album, it gave me a "Water" type fe...
Dec 01st 2011
102
      I think you may be right
Dec 01st 2011
109
Listened to it front to back 4 times so far today. Lovin it!!!
Nov 29th 2011
59
To be honest, on first spin, parts I didn't really dig. But it grows on...
Nov 30th 2011
60
      same here.
Nov 30th 2011
61
           14 to 1.
Nov 30th 2011
62
           thanks.
Nov 30th 2011
63
           I'm hoping the cliff notes for the life sequence is ...
Nov 30th 2011
64
                i gave them on this very site.
Nov 30th 2011
65
                cliff notes from 15
Nov 30th 2011
75
                     15 - Did you consider letting people figure it out for themselves
Nov 30th 2011
77
                     I See What You Mean But
Nov 30th 2011
78
                     Huh?
Dec 01st 2011
111
                     boom n/m
Dec 02nd 2011
113
                          no, it's me that misread bentagain.
Dec 02nd 2011
115
                               It was the fist comparison that came to mind
Dec 02nd 2011
117
                     RE: 15 - Did you consider letting people figure it out for themselves
Dec 19th 2011
237
                     I feel like a fool ...
Nov 30th 2011
82
Initial impressions: Solid
Nov 30th 2011
66
Felt effortless
Nov 30th 2011
67
agree with all of this
Nov 30th 2011
84
Also surprised that some of the songs work outside of the context
Dec 06th 2011
159
wow...
Nov 30th 2011
68
RE: The Roots - Undun reviews
Nov 30th 2011
69
think it was one track and they had to
Nov 30th 2011
72
RE: The Roots - Undun reviews
Nov 30th 2011
74
listen to the stream....
Nov 30th 2011
70
Glide Magazine @@@@1/2
Nov 30th 2011
71
Still waiting for Tuesday but
Nov 30th 2011
73
I Tried To Hold Out But I Gave In
Nov 30th 2011
76
RE: The Roots - Undun reviews
Nov 30th 2011
79
So far, so good
Nov 30th 2011
80
Love The Album, The Ambition, The Theme
Nov 30th 2011
81
RE: Love The Album, The Ambition, The Theme
Dec 04th 2011
135
incredible album. grown man hip hop. fav track is...
Nov 30th 2011
86
?uestlove on Soundcheck podcast
Nov 30th 2011
87
love it, of course.
Nov 30th 2011
88
it's simply a different album
Nov 30th 2011
89
The Other Side.......
Nov 30th 2011
90
Bilal Man
Dec 01st 2011
101
wow bilal wow
Dec 03rd 2011
128
Bilal and them organs. favorite track
Dec 06th 2011
170
iPhone and iPad app out NOW
Nov 30th 2011
91
the only time I ever wished I had apple products ...
Nov 30th 2011
92
Greg P.O.R.N.......is a problem!
Dec 01st 2011
93
It's really too bad OKP records didn't really take off...
Dec 01st 2011
94
"Kool On" and "Stomp" are ridiculous.
Dec 01st 2011
96
Entertainment Weekly review (A-)
Dec 01st 2011
97
The Independent uk review (Positive)
Dec 01st 2011
98
To 15 and the whole crew.....Thank You
Dec 01st 2011
99
BBC review (Positive)
Dec 01st 2011
100
I REALLY like Dice and PORN on this
Dec 01st 2011
103
lol
Dec 01st 2011
104
third verse!!!
Dec 01st 2011
105
Pithcfork interview
Dec 01st 2011
107
this is brilliant guys...
Dec 01st 2011
108
This shit resonates.
Dec 01st 2011
110
this album is beautiful man.
Dec 02nd 2011
112
DICE & G PORN are dope on this.
Dec 04th 2011
136
The Guardian (UK): 3 out of 5 stars (link)
Dec 02nd 2011
114
I want to write for the Guardian and EW
Dec 02nd 2011
118
NPR First Listen (LINK) / nom nom nom can't wait bart scott
Dec 02nd 2011
116
why is Just Blaze getting credit for Stomp?
Dec 03rd 2011
129
Chicago Tribune review (4 of 4 stars)
Dec 02nd 2011
119
hey, i'm credited on "make my!"
Dec 02nd 2011
120
excellent
Dec 02nd 2011
122
NSU Review
Dec 02nd 2011
123
The Globe and Mail review (Canada) - 3.5 of 4 stars
Dec 02nd 2011
124
Thee Business
Dec 03rd 2011
125
hows this compare to prince paul Prince Among thieves or sticky's
Dec 03rd 2011
126
Review: my original uncut review of undun
Dec 03rd 2011
127
THS ALBUM IS FUCKING AMAZING
Dec 03rd 2011
130
I really dig "I Remember" & "Tip The Scale".
Dec 03rd 2011
131
woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!
Dec 03rd 2011
132
Hold up though, why this Illmatic time length?
Dec 03rd 2011
133
short album, easier to digest as a fan
Dec 05th 2011
152
      Songs in the key of life disagrees with you
Dec 06th 2011
158
           what an inane response.
Dec 14th 2011
227
Redford sounds like some Radiohead
Dec 04th 2011
137
it's a portion of sufjan steven's song of the same name
Dec 04th 2011
138
I'm thinking I might be liking this album more backwards
Dec 04th 2011
139
thoughts....
Dec 04th 2011
140
So no skits huh??
Dec 04th 2011
141
PopMatters 8/10 (personal swipe, wish we had 8.5s)
Dec 04th 2011
142
Philadelphia Examiner: * * * 1/2
Dec 04th 2011
143
Soul Culture (UK): 4 1/2 out of 5
Dec 05th 2011
144
HipHopDX: 5 out of 5
Dec 05th 2011
145
dice's hooks are the low for me
Dec 05th 2011
146
which ones?
Dec 05th 2011
147
the hook on One Time nearly ruins the song for me
Dec 05th 2011
148
one time is okay, but it does sound off
Dec 05th 2011
150
I've had that song on repeat today
Dec 08th 2011
194
sound like he recorded that in the shower, gargling water.
Dec 09th 2011
214
still not a fan of "make my"
Dec 05th 2011
149
see, i love make my
Dec 05th 2011
151
basically all of them
Dec 05th 2011
154
shit he killed these hooks come a long way form Rising Down
Dec 07th 2011
185
      hooks are better, he needs to not sing them
Dec 08th 2011
205
Front-Free.com: positive review
Dec 05th 2011
153
The Other Side is a classic Roots track
Dec 06th 2011
155
Pitchfork Media: 7.3/10
Dec 06th 2011
156
Out of curiosity
Dec 06th 2011
160
      RE: Out of curiosity
Dec 06th 2011
162
           those albums are suited for the pitch4ork crowd too
Dec 06th 2011
164
Dec 06th 2011
157
1st (Black) Thoughts
Dec 06th 2011
161
re: Dice's choruses
Dec 06th 2011
163
yeah I recently posted about this above.
Dec 06th 2011
175
Los Angeles Times Undun Review 3.5 stars (out of 4)
Dec 06th 2011
166
Rolling Stone 3.5
Dec 06th 2011
167
when is the last time RS rated a hip hop album above 3.5?
Dec 06th 2011
174
      really?
Dec 06th 2011
176
AllHipHop.com: 8.5 out of 10
Dec 06th 2011
168
Spin 7/10 (link)
Dec 06th 2011
169
i think the notion that Redford lacks individuality is valid
Dec 06th 2011
172
Heavy Album....
Dec 06th 2011
171
Paste magazine = 8.4
Dec 06th 2011
173
So is that Mercedes on "I Remember" ?
Dec 06th 2011
177
Word! She kinda reminded me of Solange tho.
Dec 07th 2011
186
The "Make My" breakdown reminds me a lot
Dec 06th 2011
178
First spin...Stomp!
Dec 06th 2011
179
Iheartdilla review
Dec 07th 2011
180
Holy shit. This album is a masterpiece. Wow.
Dec 07th 2011
181
define masterpiece
Dec 07th 2011
187
The A.V. Club review (A)
Dec 07th 2011
182
All Music review - (4.5 of 5 stars)
Dec 07th 2011
183
this is a great fucking album
Dec 07th 2011
188
one more side note
Dec 07th 2011
189
same thought I've been having all day
Dec 08th 2011
191
hard to argue with that...
Dec 08th 2011
192
I like the previous 3 albums quite a bit.
Dec 08th 2011
193
people in Redford's life as opposed to playing him from different angles
Dec 08th 2011
197
      I thought ?uest said on here that
Dec 08th 2011
203
      different personalities of Redford
Dec 09th 2011
213
           actually it was confirmed that they're all Red
Dec 09th 2011
216
      Quest already said its all Redford though
Dec 08th 2011
208
this is a great album, make my, kool on & tip the scale and the
Dec 08th 2011
195
Straight.com - Vancuver
Dec 08th 2011
198
comments like this really irk me...
Dec 08th 2011
199
GREAT album, gets better with each listen, and BANGS in the car.
Dec 08th 2011
200
a complete live version of this album would kill
Dec 08th 2011
201
^^^there it is
Dec 08th 2011
204
For as important as the lyrics are for this, why aren't they in the book...
Dec 08th 2011
202
RE: Dice's hooks
Dec 08th 2011
206
this would be a copout and an excuse
Dec 08th 2011
209
      jesus, let it go.
Dec 09th 2011
210
           heaven forbid we discuss something on a discussion board
Dec 09th 2011
212
                harping endlessly on about something makes for wonderful discussion.
Dec 09th 2011
220
'Kool On' & 'Lighthouse' are my favorites
Dec 08th 2011
207
IGN
Dec 09th 2011
211
40+min of blank space, i wish the album played chronologically.
Dec 09th 2011
215
Even if it's not meant to be heard that way? Interesting
Dec 09th 2011
218
yeah.
Dec 14th 2011
229
yea this was the basis of my PopMatters review
Dec 10th 2011
222
      ><
Dec 14th 2011
230
This could be their Berlin (Lou Reed)
Dec 09th 2011
217
Look at OKC review
Dec 09th 2011
219
would have been cool to let Thought sing a hook or 2 IMO
Dec 09th 2011
221
um, that's the jazzyfatnastees on I Remember
Dec 11th 2011
223
      fair enough but I think the hook could use more
Dec 18th 2011
236
Lighthouse is amazing
Dec 12th 2011
224
100 Albums, 100 Weeks: A/A-
Dec 13th 2011
226
Dice Raw sounds great.
Dec 14th 2011
228
WBEZ review - 3.5 out of 5
Dec 16th 2011
231
out of 4.
Dec 16th 2011
233
News-mail.AU 4.5 out of 5
Dec 16th 2011
232
NPR- Weekend Edition (story + 10 audio minute review)
Dec 18th 2011
234
Relevant Magazine Review
Dec 18th 2011
235
late, but got dang @ 'Lighthouse'.
Dec 22nd 2011
240
Rap Reviews
Dec 23rd 2011
241
debuts at #17 on billboard hot 200. 2nd week, falls to #70
Dec 23rd 2011
242
seriously... this might be the most satisfying Roots album in years.
Dec 23rd 2011
243
The Smoking Section
Dec 27th 2011
244
MetaCritic score: 88/100
Dec 29th 2011
245

QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Wed Nov-16-11 09:13 AM

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1. "man those snippets have me drooling!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

December 6th get here!

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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Dix
Member since Sep 04th 2009
172 posts
Mon Nov-21-11 03:43 PM

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6. "^^This"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          

  

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guru0509
Charter member
42139 posts
Wed Nov-16-11 01:42 PM

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2. "awesome"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


_______________________________
Freddie Gibbs - Cold Day In Hell
LEP Bogus Boys/DJ Green Lantern - Now Or Neva
Pete Rock - NY's Finest

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Wed Nov-16-11 06:09 PM

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3. "My impressions"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=5&topic_id=2626754&mesg_id=2626754&page=

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Wed Nov-16-11 06:09 PM

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4. "Eddie "STATS" 10 Out of 10: Track By Track Preview"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.okayplayer.com/news/10-out-of-10-track-by-track-preview-of-new-roots-lp-undun.html

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
Sun Nov-20-11 06:34 PM

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5. "If you find any more reviews post em here"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I feel bad for not writing a "full" review. I didn't want to Harry Knowles it.

If you spot any reviews (I have a Google alert set for them) please let met know.

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Mon Nov-21-11 04:54 PM

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7. "Press: ?uestlove on the Huffinton post"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/questlove/undun-the-roots-album_b_1105719.html?ref=uk

  

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Mr.Ouija
Member since Sep 26th 2011
435 posts
Mon Nov-21-11 07:41 PM

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8. "Like on on-going PHD thesis going no where."
In response to Reply # 0


          

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
130740 posts
Tue Nov-22-11 09:37 AM

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9. "LittleX: like a hose that is forever huffed."
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

  

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roaches
Member since Jun 04th 2003
6849 posts
Tue Nov-22-11 05:28 PM

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10. "sounds like a cunninlynguists album n/m"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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justin_scott
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19829 posts
Thu Nov-24-11 12:55 PM

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11. "yeah, it does sound like a dope album"
In response to Reply # 10


          

.

************************************************************

  

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cidolfas
Member since Nov 29th 2006
2180 posts
Sat Nov-26-11 02:58 PM

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16. "LOL"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

_________________

  

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Menphyel7
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Tue Nov-29-11 09:07 AM

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24. "I'm saying like that's a bad thing lol"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

I don't hear that tho

http://twitter.com/Menphyel7


"F you Im better in tune with the Infinite"

  

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roaches
Member since Jun 04th 2003
6849 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:26 PM

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56. "i didn't mean it in a bad way at all."
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

a piece of strange is a personal classic and oneirology hasn't left regular rotation since it dropped. i meant the comparison more in terms of the approach behind/conceptualization of the album rather than how it actually sounds (i haven't listened to undun yet).

  

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justin_scott
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Fri Dec-02-11 01:13 PM

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121. "oh. okay"
In response to Reply # 56


          

.

************************************************************

  

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Goose
Member since Feb 05th 2006
4635 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 11:54 PM

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190. "which ones better?"
In response to Reply # 56


  

          

these two records are in another league (you could probably toss Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues in the mix - a concept record as well, in teh mix).

I might give the slight edge to Roots cuz Thought is a little better of an emcee than Natti, Deac and Kno, but it's really close cuz they rap their asses off on that album.

___________________________
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jetblack
Member since Nov 14th 2004
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Tue Dec-20-11 09:06 AM

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238. "yeah..it's epically great."
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

---
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@kuroverse
PSN: Jetblack
---
Stay +.
Lone ABQ OKP. I am the danger.
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handle
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16736 posts
Thu Nov-24-11 02:21 PM

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12. "The Roots played a snippet Kool On on Jimmy Fallon"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.latenightwithjimmyfallon.com/video/wednesday-november-23-2011/1370505/

Starts at 4:05 , goes to 4:20.

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 08:17 AM

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196. "prolly the only time they'll do it live ..."
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

... but I hope not!

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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JG.
Member since Nov 08th 2010
643 posts
Fri Nov-25-11 12:11 PM

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13. "These ?uest interviews are like the liner notes,,new interview "
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.theboombox.com/2011/11/25/the-roots-undun-album/


A great read IMO.

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Fri Nov-25-11 04:09 PM

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14. "definitely a dope read on this one!"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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CondoM
Member since Aug 20th 2006
9872 posts
Fri Nov-25-11 04:42 PM

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15. "I didn't even know there was a new album."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

?

http://www.last.fm/user/_CondoM_/

  

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dopeonplastic
Member since Jul 23rd 2002
535 posts
Sat Nov-26-11 11:06 PM

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17. "Ny Daily news review"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/roots-preview-undun-concept-cd-highline-ballroom-article-1.981459?localLinksEnabled=false

www.scottcc.usana.com

  

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handle
Charter member
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18. ""
In response to Reply # 0


          

The Roots – “Redford”/”Possibility”/”Will To Power” (Stereogum Premiere)
http://stereogum.com/889551/the-roots-redfordpossibilitywill-to-power-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/

  

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HighVoltage
Member since Jan 04th 2004
16583 posts
Mon Nov-28-11 10:42 PM

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19. "Just finished listening... pretty blown away"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I really need to let it sink in and re-listen with the context of the story in mind... but this is stellar.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.itsallthewaylive.net

www.twitter.com/allthewaylive

  

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d-bwoyFLOW
Member since Nov 13th 2010
556 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 05:27 AM

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20. "haven't heard the stream"
In response to Reply # 19


          

but early opinions i've been reading seem to say it's a big let down.

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 06:41 AM

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21. "oh, yeah?"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

where did you read them?

got links?

  

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HighVoltage
Member since Jan 04th 2004
16583 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 07:49 AM

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22. "I haven't heard a single negative thing said about the album"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.itsallthewaylive.net

www.twitter.com/allthewaylive

  

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IslaSoul
Member since Aug 01st 2003
5918 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 08:20 AM

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23. "Same here, be back later with thoughts n/m"
In response to Reply # 19


  

          

http://islasoul.bandcamp.com

  

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Sunny D
Member since Dec 22nd 2010
3371 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:20 AM

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25. "where are y'all hearing it? "
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

  

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handle
Charter member
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Tue Nov-29-11 11:47 AM

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26. "A low quality rip of a stream was ripped"
In response to Reply # 25


          

It sounds pretty awful.

There was a "review copy" torrent upped on a popular site that was never seeded.

No reliable reports of a good leak yet.

Tip:If you ever want to find ripped music all you have to do is use Google with "Album X LEAKED" and you'll find it , especially if you filter results by the last 24 hours.

  

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Sunny D
Member since Dec 22nd 2010
3371 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:53 AM

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27. "how can i hear this?"
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

http://www.chartattack.com/news/2011/nov/29/listen-stream-the-roots-new-album-undun-in-full

  

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IslaSoul
Member since Aug 01st 2003
5918 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 02:33 PM

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31. "I streamed it n/m"
In response to Reply # 25


  

          

http://islasoul.bandcamp.com

  

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makaveli
Charter member
15332 posts
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28. "Everything I've Heard So Far (Most of It)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

has been great. and i haven't read one negative thing yet.

“So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”

  

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Sunny D
Member since Dec 22nd 2010
3371 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 01:31 PM

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29. "the album sounds great. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and i'm sure it's only going to get better as i'm able to follow the storyline

  

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soundmandave
Member since Feb 10th 2007
389 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 02:18 PM

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30. "RE: The Roots - Undun reviews "
In response to Reply # 0


          

Guys its pretty easy to find. I love and hate when these leaks happen. I found it at 128 kbps. As usual, very different sounding album than the last. Thats it.

To all my fellow Charger fans, I read a rumor that Cowher is very interested! Gyeah!

Gotta crawl before you walk.

  

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soundmandave
Member since Feb 10th 2007
389 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 03:25 AM

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95. "Shit..."
In response to Reply # 30
Thu Dec-01-11 03:36 AM by soundmandave

          

Not in love with it, at all. 6 listens. Like you all, The Roots are my favorite group by far. Im 33, and discovered my hip hop love in 1995. And grew up on Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. Young MC and shit and Cypress Hill for rap, and EWF, Stevie, Hathaway, DEVO, Sinatra, etc, etc....!!Anyway, Black After Thought's voice is damaged. It is scratchy and very sensitive. And we all heard that on the last two albums. Unfortunetly I believe that is why he isn't front and center anymore.

Lighthouse is what we all want from them now and today. Make my is perfect, but sad. My dad died of cancer last year and the second half of Make My is exactly what we saw when we pulled my dads plug. I love that song's interpretation of soul moving.

But as the biggest Roots fan with the live show miles, fun , and stories to back it up I must admit undun is their worst sounding album. basically the music is boring.

My favorite Roots song is and always will be One Shine.

Stoked I can see them everyday now on Fallon though. Thanks Quest and Thought, you've shaped my life. We wouldn't have Foreign Exchange etc.. unless

But Im not feeling undun

Gotta crawl before you walk.

  

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johnbook
Charter member
65026 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 03:04 PM

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32. "album is streaming, in full, at NPR (link)"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Nov-29-11 03:10 PM by johnbook

  

          

http://n.pr/unduNPR



THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


http://i32.tinypic.com/kbewp4.gif

  

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rl9
Charter member
4472 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 03:12 PM

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33. "has anyone seen a vinyl pre-order?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

all i see is cd and mp3.

''i went from bashful to asshole to international''- CdoubleO

  

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Ashy Achilles
Member since Sep 22nd 2005
3939 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 03:59 PM

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34. "goddammit at these fuckin choruses"
In response to Reply # 0


          

only a few songs in and dice is terrible

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
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35. "I disagree"
In response to Reply # 34


          

The only chorus I didn't like was Make My.

And I love the Lighthouse chorus to death!

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 04:40 PM

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37. "good, cause i like make my!"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

  

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Sunny D
Member since Dec 22nd 2010
3371 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 04:34 PM

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36. "nah, i i don't see any issues with the choruses. "
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

it all flows well to me.

  

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Ashy Achilles
Member since Sep 22nd 2005
3939 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 04:49 PM

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38. "good it gets better"
In response to Reply # 34


          

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
9984 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 05:25 PM

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40. "only one bad to me is One Time. a struggle chorus if i ever heard one."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 05:33 PM

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41. "I liked that"
In response to Reply # 40


          

Then I start to think what’s the rush
Who wants to be on time
Feeling unlucky and if I ever got lucky it was one time
In this crazy world

I've NEVER had that thought in my life.

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
9984 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 06:19 PM

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44. "no problems with the content - it's just horribly delivered."
In response to Reply # 41


  

          

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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makaveli
Charter member
15332 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 06:28 PM

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45. "I Think Dice Did A Great Job On The Hooks"
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

“So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”

  

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las raises
Member since Aug 31st 2002
14929 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:28 PM

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57. "I agree Dice did great on the hooks"
In response to Reply # 45


  

          

-----------------------------------------------------------------

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 05:35 PM

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85. "they aren't great but"
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

they're not bad enough that they matter to me.

lighthouse has a bit of an iffy note that irks me, but other than that nothing is ruined for me.

and I almost want to give him a full pass anyway given how he's spitting.

  

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Dariusx
Member since May 29th 2002
1174 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 01:29 PM

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106. "Co-Sign"
In response to Reply # 34
Thu Dec-01-11 01:31 PM by Dariusx

  

          

Hate most of the choruses from post Phrenology (except Game Theory" and the track "How I Got Over". "Make My" is good. I thrown my hands up. They are not going to change this. It's part of what they want to do.

On a better note. Looking forward to seeing them at Highline Ballroom Tues.

  

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Dix
Member since Sep 04th 2009
172 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 12:24 PM

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165. "these choruses "
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

Yeah, they stand out (not in a good way) when the rest of the track is amazing. I felt the same about HIGO choruses. I got used to the GT ones over time. Hopefully that happens here.

  

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cbk
Charter member
4530 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 11:55 AM

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184. "i like them...it brings balance"
In response to Reply # 34


          

to an album that had the potential of sounding waaay overproduced.

from ?uest's posts about the recording process, i was expecting a laser-sharp sounding record with no "flaws."

but i was pleasantly surprised that a lot of the vocals sounded like first takes (which was probably not the case at all).

it sounds spontaneous and inspired, rather than labored over.

dice's choruses give it a charm and character.

D'ANGELO beat tape PART 2: https://chrisp.bandcamp.com/album/dangelo-beat-tape-2020

IPHONE LP2 “A beatmaker who loved” https://music.apple.com/us/album/a-beatmaker-who-loved/1473644375

  

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soulfunk
Charter member
9007 posts
Mon Dec-12-11 10:13 PM

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225. "I felt this way at first but after letting the album soak in I hear them..."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

Redford's voice, and I think flawless singing would take away from that picture in my head. You can kinda hear that the way the vocals are mixed on the hooks that it's the thoughts from Redford's head.

  

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justin_scott
Charter member
19829 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 05:14 PM

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39. "i wish tip the scale was available as an mp3"
In response to Reply # 0


          

i'd love to hear that in the car.

************************************************************

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 05:38 PM

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42. "are you kidding me? only a few tracks in"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

this is pretty spectacular

  

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spidey
Charter member
12137 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 06:12 PM

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43. "RE: The Roots - Undun reviews "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...hyped...gonna check the npr link later...Peace!

Integrity is the Cornerstone of Artistry...

  

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makaveli
Charter member
15332 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 06:29 PM

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46. "It's Great"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

haven't been this excited for an album in a while.

“So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 07:11 PM

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47. "What the fuck is this? Kool On ?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Shit 15 wasn't lying when he said theres something on here for everyone. And what in the world is wrong with Gregory Porn? He beasting on this, and while on the topic of that ... Black Thought ? Pssh Super Sayian steez, he's gone beyond. I don't even know man. On my third go round on this stream with the headphones.

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 07:39 PM

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48. "Porn was a beast on HIGO"
In response to Reply # 47


  

          

I don't understand why folks are acting like he's good *now*

  

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Sunny D
Member since Dec 22nd 2010
3371 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 07:44 PM

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49. "that's why i'm scratching my head. "
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

he's been dope on all their releases.

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 08:23 PM

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50. "RE: Porn was a beast on HIGO"
In response to Reply # 48


  

          

I overlooked him on RD, HIGO I was more impressed and would have really wanted to hear like Malik B on "Right On" (that beat was somewhat calling him), MMJB was the nail in the coffin, but I think he outdid himself on this one. Shit was stellar and not just him, everyone came correct on the spittage on this go round.

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 05:09 PM

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83. "fuck me, forgot this is his third"
In response to Reply # 50


  

          

I mean I've enjoyed him since the first time they put him on...

  

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stankpalmer
Member since Dec 16th 2003
6833 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 10:02 PM

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51. "Phenomenal."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

------
so...if you're into DJing or nightlife...
or DJing AND nightlife...
peep Opening Set Podcast
https://soundcloud.com/openingset

also remixes: http://jonreyes.bandcamp.com

@stankpalmer

  

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justin_scott
Charter member
19829 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 10:31 PM

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52. "the end of tip the scale is beautiful."
In response to Reply # 0


          

Excellent. Except dice raw's intro to lighthouse.

************************************************************

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 10:58 PM

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55. "I kind of agree"
In response to Reply # 52


          

>Excellent. Except dice raw's intro to lighthouse.


Could have dizun without it.

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
16352 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 10:40 PM

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53. "I'm lovin Lighthouse"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"Dude just seems like he's been chosen for some reason. Maybe he did a backspin for Oprah or something." micMajestic

http://www.discogs.com/user/buhloone

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
16352 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 11:12 PM

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134. "Kool On is probably my fav though"
In response to Reply # 53


  

          

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"Dude just seems like he's been chosen for some reason. Maybe he did a backspin for Oprah or something." micMajestic

http://www.discogs.com/user/buhloone

  

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jetblack
Member since Nov 14th 2004
44555 posts
Tue Dec-20-11 09:17 AM

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239. "Kool on and Lighthouse of my favorite songs of the year really."
In response to Reply # 134


  

          

---
http://www.facebook.com/kuroverse
http://www.youtube.com/user/thespikespeigel
@kuroverse
PSN: Jetblack
---
Stay +.
Lone ABQ OKP. I am the danger.
---

  

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Oak27
Member since Apr 17th 2005
12291 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 10:40 PM

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54. "off my first few listens, im not into this at all"
In response to Reply # 0


          

ill try again when i get the real copy and not a stream though

  

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las raises
Member since Aug 31st 2002
14929 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:35 PM

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58. "I just finished listening to the album, it gave me a "Water" type feel"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Which I find amazing, great job fellas. I'm diggin it after the first listen!!! I like Dice on the chorus

-----------------------------------------------------------------

  

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MILF DOOM
Member since Oct 22nd 2004
3675 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 11:27 AM

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102. "RE: I just finished listening to the album, it gave me a "Water" type fe..."
In response to Reply # 58


  

          

maybe its the last 4 tracks that gives it the 'Water' feel?

.................. ___@@@__
......_____//____Ř_____\\__________
--o---------ASYLUM POLICE---------------@)
---- `----(@)=========+====(@)---'

  

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las raises
Member since Aug 31st 2002
14929 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 05:26 PM

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109. "I think you may be right"
In response to Reply # 102


  

          

-----------------------------------------------------------------

  

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DeadMike
Member since Jan 28th 2005
1030 posts
Tue Nov-29-11 11:49 PM

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59. "Listened to it front to back 4 times so far today. Lovin it!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


          

  

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DeadMike
Member since Jan 28th 2005
1030 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 12:02 AM

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60. "To be honest, on first spin, parts I didn't really dig. But it grows on..."
In response to Reply # 59


          

  

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forgivenphoenix
Member since Dec 08th 2007
2514 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 01:00 AM

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61. "same here."
In response to Reply # 60


  

          

i dug 'Make My' and 'Lighthouse' but on the second listen, i dug most of the beats.

i do have a question tho. How does the timeline of Redford's life flow over the sequence of the tracks?

is it: 1, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 14?

i'm not too sure about that tho.

__________________________________________

http://www.twitter.com/chriscjamison/

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

Peter Drucker

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
9984 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 01:12 AM

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62. "14 to 1."
In response to Reply # 61
Wed Nov-30-11 01:13 AM by FortifiedLive

  

          

he's dying in the first track.

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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forgivenphoenix
Member since Dec 08th 2007
2514 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 03:11 AM

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63. "thanks."
In response to Reply # 62


  

          

i thought i heard a baby crying in the echo of the track, so i thought it was the birth.

__________________________________________

http://www.twitter.com/chriscjamison/

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

Peter Drucker

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 07:44 AM

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64. "I'm hoping the cliff notes for the life sequence is ..."
In response to Reply # 61


  

          

... in the liner notes of the album. Crosses fingers.

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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15
Member since Mar 01st 2005
9915 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 08:24 AM

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65. "i gave them on this very site."
In response to Reply # 64


  

          

NO! LIST
Tom Petty
M J
Zeppelin
Springsteen
Neil Young
Eagles
Ray Charles
Madonna
Chuck Berry
South Park TV Songs
Justin Timberlake
"Food Glorious Food"
"Twilight Zone" theme
"A Boy Named Sue"
"Night Moves"
"The Situation"
"Superbowl Shuffle"

  

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EClecticTastes
Member since Jan 07th 2003
1603 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 11:29 AM

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75. "cliff notes from 15"
In response to Reply # 64


  

          

133. "UNDUN starring 9 opinions"
In response to Reply # 118




process starts with the track

now sometimes a track is made like "a track" for which we The Roots will take and redo it (look at "Get Busy" started off as "a track" then we went and replayed it"---that's how outside producers get stuff to us, if its a track that seems like we can "Rootsify" then we go with it")

or the track can just start from us (4 of the tracks were once "sandwiches")


now the process here is out of my hands.


there rich is the judge of the emotional weight (this having already established the concept of going backwards

song one-dead
song two-dying but dont know im dead yet, oh snap i am dead!!! wahhhhaa!
song three-someone kills me
song four- "got a problem nigga?....what?!?! what??!?!?!?....oh...you better walk away....so anyway yall like i was saying we shou--------
song five-work done. let's celebrate a lil bit. but just for a lil bit
song six- its a dirty job but somebody has got to do it and a closed mouth dont get fed. even though im haunted by the actions that got me here
song seven- live like an animal. die like an animal. but life goes on.
song eight- am i my brothers keeper? nah dukes. this is a business. sorry. but you had it coming to you.
song nine- i hate being put in this situation, but now i gotta "handle something" and i gotta do what i gotta do. even if that mean an ICU...
song 10- im all business. and unlike these scumbags. im rising outta this mess somehow someway
song 11-14
a) nightfall. time to retire.
b) sleep
c) nightmares haunts
d) prepares for new day and whatever challenges that come forth/abrupt awakening.



this is a rough chart followed (actually we wanted a strict 10 so that way we wont dwell to long telling a narrative twice.

when you get Undun this could be a good cheat chart for you.

we wanted to Tarrintino it so that his death is first and his morning was last.

i was never a lyric guy, for if i was Riq and i woulda been fighting after Organix's "Im Out Deah"

rich went hardcore on mofos. and im shocked tariq welcomed the coaching. i was amazed he was so open to coaching.

i was like "rich if he "im from the city where"'s me one more time imma crash this car"

so being as though Rich is the ONE dude that you are glad said "nah that's wack" and you respect it you go back and redo it. (which leaves me headscratching about Blu's remarks)

he made sure that every line made sense and they stuck to the script.



“Being humble is so 2007.” “Trust me.” -E. Badu

"Purists usually end up dying pure but without many accomplishments." -Abner Mikva

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 12:18 PM

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77. "15 - Did you consider letting people figure it out for themselves"
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

I know in the age of technology it's almost impossible to even release an ablum with no leaks

But I was wondering if you ever considered not even explaining it to people, and just letting them figure it our for themselves

I mean, people on this site are lost, even with all the interviews and explanations

Kind of like if Com didn't tell people he was talking about Hip-Hop on I used to love her


---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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makaveli
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78. "I See What You Mean But"
In response to Reply # 77


  

          

and i'm not 15, but the storyline idea definitely got me more hyped for the album. i'm sure i'm not the only one.

“So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”

  

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denny
Member since Apr 11th 2008
11281 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 10:44 PM

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111. "Huh?"
In response to Reply # 77


          

the last line of 'used to love her' is

'kause what i'm talking bout is hip hop'.

  

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johnbook
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Fri Dec-02-11 01:45 AM

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113. "boom n/m"
In response to Reply # 111


  

          


THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


http://i32.tinypic.com/kbewp4.gif

  

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denny
Member since Apr 11th 2008
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Fri Dec-02-11 02:51 AM

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115. "no, it's me that misread bentagain. "
In response to Reply # 113


          

He said 'IF' kom sense had never stated he was talking about hip hop.

Sorrie bent.

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 08:50 AM

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117. "It was the fist comparison that came to mind"
In response to Reply # 115


  

          

I feel like it would add to the replay value of I Use to Love Her if he hadn't ended with that line

You could play it for somebody, and they would think he was talking about a girl

Sheeeiiitt

It would probably take us more than a few listens to figure it out

But with that line, there is no discussion, it's real cut and dry

And that was my thinking toward Undun

Let it marinate for awhile, give people a chance to react with their own interpretations


---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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Justin_Maldonado_7
Charter member
5041 posts
Mon Dec-19-11 08:55 AM

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237. "RE: 15 - Did you consider letting people figure it out for themselves"
In response to Reply # 77


          

More like E Badu did with Certainly...

she explained it on the live album, but w/o that, I NEVER would've figured that out

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
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82. "I feel like a fool ..."
In response to Reply # 75


  

          

... because I remember reading those. Good looks though fam.

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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good5
Member since Feb 25th 2010
174 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 09:18 AM

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66. "Initial impressions: Solid"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

One thing I found listening to it yesterday is that it's not really the type of album that you can fully appreciate while distracted by other things. You need to immerse in that shit and pay close attention to the lyrics. A lot of the bridges and outros didn't make emotional sense without understanding the lyrics.

I love how focused it is. One of those albums where you can tell every sound was chosen to match the greater purpose of the work, but it still sounds incredibly fluid and unforced.

The verses are all amazing. I can't think of a single "wtf?" line. Black Thought's verses sound especially personal, some of his best work.

Hoping to buy this on vinyl soon. Anyone have word on that?




  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 09:25 AM

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67. "Felt effortless"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Nov-30-11 09:32 AM by bentagain

  

          

I only gave it a couple of spins last night...

I was really impressed with how effortless the album felt

All of the detail, orchestral, concept, etc...I expected the album to feel forced and confined

but it doesn't

it really breathes

Finality really ties the whole thing together

well done *stands and applauds*

Lighthouse was a standout for me

and BT chomped a hole it at least half of those beats

glad to see beast mode activated

What's Next?





---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 05:11 PM

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84. "agree with all of this"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 10:03 AM

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159. "Also surprised that some of the songs work outside of the context"
In response to Reply # 67


  

          

of the album

I didn't expect to be able to put any of the songs on by themselves

but Lighthouse and Kool On work as singles


---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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tex
Member since Apr 13th 2003
11389 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 09:49 AM

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68. "wow..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

this is amazing

***************************************
rosemary's babydaddy
***************************************

  

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stone_phalanges
Member since Mar 06th 2010
1539 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 10:02 AM

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69. "RE: The Roots - Undun reviews "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Not a fan of the sequencing. Does anyone know why they chose to put practically all the instrumental tracks at the end? I mean I like it, its just that I may want to rearrange the tracks. what is the chronological order of the story?

www.anwarmorse.com
Stone-phalanges.deviantart.com

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
3894 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 10:21 AM

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72. "think it was one track and they had to "
In response to Reply # 69


          

break it up for legal reasons or something.

  

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stone_phalanges
Member since Mar 06th 2010
1539 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 11:04 AM

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74. "RE: The Roots - Undun reviews "
In response to Reply # 69


  

          

Nevermind I was wrong. Tried to change the track order and it didn't work as well. Sorry, I rescind my complaint.

www.anwarmorse.com
Stone-phalanges.deviantart.com

  

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maro
Charter member
2447 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 10:08 AM

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70. "listen to the stream...."
In response to Reply # 0


          

And really enjoyed it.

Like others have mentioned, I look forward to paying close attention to the lyrics to try and follow the story line.

I really really loved the end movements of redford. and DD kilt that shit. amazing way to end the album.

funny, I just caught pink floyds the wall on the tv the other night...



...your Auntie Clarisse!

lurkin since 1999. werd.

  

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15
Member since Mar 01st 2005
9915 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 10:19 AM

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71. "Glide Magazine @@@@1/2"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.glidemagazine.com/articles/57886/the-roots.html

NO! LIST
Tom Petty
M J
Zeppelin
Springsteen
Neil Young
Eagles
Ray Charles
Madonna
Chuck Berry
South Park TV Songs
Justin Timberlake
"Food Glorious Food"
"Twilight Zone" theme
"A Boy Named Sue"
"Night Moves"
"The Situation"
"Superbowl Shuffle"

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
3894 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 10:25 AM

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73. "Still waiting for Tuesday but"
In response to Reply # 0


          

ya'll are making it difficult.

Real difficult.

I still have managed to not listen to anything yet. Going in completely fresh.

I gotta stop coming into this thread. . .

  

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makaveli
Charter member
15332 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 12:11 PM

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76. "I Tried To Hold Out But I Gave In"
In response to Reply # 73


  

          

it's great.

“So back we go to these questions — friendship, character… ethics.”

  

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Beyond da Norm
Member since Nov 09th 2011
6 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 12:55 PM

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79. "RE: The Roots - Undun reviews "
In response to Reply # 0


          

The low quality stream I heard sounds crazy

  

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jmaestro
Member since Oct 07th 2007
154 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 01:07 PM

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80. "So far, so good"
In response to Reply # 79


  

          

Question though: What happened to the version of "Lighthouse" with the heavy synths and alternate drums that was being played in the studio vid?

Musician
DJ
- Instagram: thegreatmaestro

  

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EClecticTastes
Member since Jan 07th 2003
1603 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 03:50 PM

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81. "Love The Album, The Ambition, The Theme"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

But, I feel that the storyline started AFTER the turning point that I think is most compelling; how does a random kid decide to shift from the path of an ordinary life (whatever that may be for that kid) to the criminal path. The reverse narrative seems to begin with that random kid deciding that he's had enough.

Perhaps I'm imposing too much of my personal experience on the group's vision, but I grew up with kids from traditional backgrounds (stable home, working parents, etc.) who decided to take the criminal route and ended up dead or in jail. I never understood (I mean I did, but I didn't) what turned them to the allure of street life as opposed to the other path.

“Being humble is so 2007.” “Trust me.” -E. Badu

"Purists usually end up dying pure but without many accomplishments." -Abner Mikva

  

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Birdzeye
Member since Feb 29th 2008
418 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 04:36 AM

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135. "RE: Love The Album, The Ambition, The Theme"
In response to Reply # 81


          

Yes, i agree with your point. I enjoy the album and will buy but it not the big deconstruction of how a wayward soul got to where he is. I thought this album would go back to pivotal points such as early family life, education, specific life dissapointments etc and maybe some angles i havent considered. The verses are extremely well written and it sounds good like the roots always are, but the actual story seems limited.

  

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Kurtis Carve
Member since Oct 02nd 2002
2189 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 06:41 PM

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86. "incredible album. grown man hip hop. fav track is..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

The "if you can't swizzim" one.

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 07:11 PM

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87. "?uestlove on Soundcheck podcast"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/

Talking about Undun.

  

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selppataei
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2012 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 07:17 PM

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88. "love it, of course."
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Nov-30-11 07:17 PM by selppataei

  

          

this is a truly circular album. i almost feel required to put the album on repeat, but part of that is how i "read" tracks 11-14. yes, i did read the cliff notes before, but instead of a sleep sequence, i read it as a life flashing before one's eyes. something about the transition from "finality" to "dun" and the timing of the flatline when played over just works for me. so the story is told backwards from 1 to 10 and tarantino'd back to the ending with the suite; the suite also provides background for the entire narrative. i know that isn't what questo stated as far as their intentions, but i can't help but listen to the album that way, especially given the titles of the movements.

i'll write more when i get some time, but for now i'll say that thought's coda on "i remember" really, really stands out.

____________________________________________________________
http://proc.bandcamp.com
http://twitter.com/grandproc

  

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Messiah4976
Member since Oct 28th 2005
3076 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 08:03 PM

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89. "it's simply a different album"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

they didn't re-visit any formulas......didn't try create a sound they've presented before



Great album.....

__________________________________
"The people don't come because you grandiose motherfuckers don't play shit that they like!" © Shadow Henderson

  

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Messiah4976
Member since Oct 28th 2005
3076 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 08:49 PM

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90. "The Other Side......."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

....fuck....

__________________________________
"The people don't come because you grandiose motherfuckers don't play shit that they like!" © Shadow Henderson

  

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MILF DOOM
Member since Oct 22nd 2004
3675 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 11:26 AM

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101. "Bilal Man"
In response to Reply # 90


  

          

The Other Side

.................. ___@@@__
......_____//____Ř_____\\__________
--o---------ASYLUM POLICE---------------@)
---- `----(@)=========+====(@)---'

  

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Crash Bandacoot
Member since May 13th 2003
9769 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 04:03 PM

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128. "wow bilal wow"
In response to Reply # 90


          

just when i thought he couldn't get any better. vocals are amazing.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"It is better to be silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
42216 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 03:42 PM

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170. "Bilal and them organs. favorite track"
In response to Reply # 90


          

  

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handle
Charter member
16736 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 09:03 PM

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91. "iPhone and iPad app out NOW"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/undun/id481074827?mt=8

  

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QBoogie
Member since Jun 05th 2002
5805 posts
Wed Nov-30-11 09:41 PM

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92. "the only time I ever wished I had apple products ..."
In response to Reply # 91


  

          

... just to view this app. Gonna have to borrow one of the homies.

https://youtu.be/Kkp6UkSh5IQ

  

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Messiah4976
Member since Oct 28th 2005
3076 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 12:51 AM

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93. "Greg P.O.R.N.......is a problem!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I hope this boor doesn't fade into the darkness though......his pen is retarded

__________________________________
"The people don't come because you grandiose motherfuckers don't play shit that they like!" © Shadow Henderson

  

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phemom
Member since Oct 22nd 2004
4984 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 01:43 AM

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94. "It's really too bad OKP records didn't really take off..."
In response to Reply # 93


          

Cause it would be a good place for a solo LP from him...he's too dope to be having a day job.

...and I haven't even heard the album yet, been thinking that since RD.

phemom's the name, all-star writer/
searching 4 journalistic fame, mindframe igniter....www.twitter.com/hayabusaage

  

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Anfernee
Member since Nov 11th 2004
24780 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 03:31 AM

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96. ""Kool On" and "Stomp" are ridiculous."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Did Just Blaze produce "Stomp"? That shit is greatness.

_________________________________________________________

http://www.angryasianman.com

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 10:46 AM

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97. "Entertainment Weekly review (A-)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20549765,00.html

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 10:52 AM

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98. "The Independent uk review (Positive)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

"The Roots' 13th album may be their best." - The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-the-roots-undun-mercury-6270396.html

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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tomjohn29
Member since Oct 18th 2004
16467 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 10:59 AM

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99. "To 15 and the whole crew.....Thank You"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

______________________________________

Navem nu, cuando sol
Tutu nu, vondo nos nu
Vita em, no continous non
Nos nu ekta nos sepe ta, amen

When the sun shades the ship
We sweat and life is not safe
To swim or to touch not
When we unite we hedge amen

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 11:10 AM

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100. "BBC review (Positive)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

"All told, undun stands firm as a moving eulogy, full of life in its own murky way and amazingly cohesive in its approach. While the album’s main character lived only 25 years, the music here has the vitality to live much longer." - BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/5n9p

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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woe.is.me.
Member since Aug 06th 2007
13957 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 01:05 PM

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103. "I REALLY like Dice and PORN on this"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

lyrically its some of their best work i've heard.
and someone get PORN a therapist.

---
www.ikirejones.com
FW16: After Migration.

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 01:11 PM

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104. "lol"
In response to Reply # 103


  

          


>and someone get PORN a therapist.

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 01:16 PM

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105. "third verse!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

several headphone listenings in I can't help but be let down when Make My, Stomp, Tip The Scale and Lighthouse end.

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 03:43 PM

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107. "Pithcfork interview"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://pitchfork.com/news/44776-uestlove-talks-michele-bachmann-fiasco-new-dangelo-album/

  

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KD
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480 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 04:47 PM

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108. "this is brilliant guys..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

keep evolving and creating music we've never before. kudos!

  

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MarVeL
Member since Apr 16th 2005
2258 posts
Thu Dec-01-11 07:51 PM

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110. "This shit resonates."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

When i'm not listenin' to that stream I'm thinking about listenin' to that stream.

  

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L.E.S.
Member since Oct 18th 2006
5070 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 01:35 AM

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112. "this album is beautiful man."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Dec-02-11 01:48 AM by L.E.S.

          

Not usually a word I use to describe hip-hop albums (although I noticed it used to describe HIGO - which makes sense if this is sort of HIGO's twin sibling as Quest implied they make sort of pairs of albums)

Anyway they've done it again & found a way to blend a classic kind of sound and make it fresh. It sounds very new. It might be their most "musical" album. I've been a Roots fan for so long that I always prepare myself to be like "ok this is going to be the album I don't love and I'm cool with that. They've earned my fandom regardless." And yet I genuinely do love every album. Its kind of unprecedented. I mean, there are Bob Dylan albums I find unlistenable (although there are like 12 of his albums that I absolutely love). But The Roots are so consistent and continue to push themselves artistically. Its special.

That being said, after a few listens Undun doesn't have the impact that Game Theory or Rising Down had. But I like it as an evil twin to HIGO and it makes me want to listen to that again. THere's definitely an emotional feel to this album.

If there's one criticism I have its the tempo of the rapping. Black Thought has been an absolute beast, maybe the best MC and most consistent over the last ten years or so.
He's good on this album as always BUT he's an up tempo MC at his best. This album has a lot of ballad type slowed down joints that don't always compliment Riq's gifts fully. But I do understand the concept of the album and that they are trying to set a tone or a voice for the character and I appreciate that.

AND the length. I don't usually nitpick about that and do find virtue in conciseness. But, I do think this album could have used one or two more tracks to really bring the story home stronger.

THE OTHER SIDE is definitely my favorite.

  

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L.E.S.
Member since Oct 18th 2006
5070 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 11:42 AM

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136. "DICE & G PORN are dope on this."
In response to Reply # 112


          

They may as well be official Roots members at this point.

  

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johnbook
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65026 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 01:59 AM

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114. "The Guardian (UK): 3 out of 5 stars (link)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/dec/01/the-roots-undun-review




THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


http://i32.tinypic.com/kbewp4.gif

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 10:49 AM

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118. "I want to write for the Guardian and EW"
In response to Reply # 114


          

Two shorts paragraphs equals a review.

I'd rate everything between $ and $$$$$.

  

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vik
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13073 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 03:13 AM

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116. "NPR First Listen (LINK) / nom nom nom can't wait bart scott"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

already posted? DTS.

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/28/142873013/first-listen-the-roots-undun

November 29, 2011

"And what I did came back to me eventually," narrator Redford Stephens, transcendently portrayed by Black Thought, posthumously intones in "Sleep," the first track from The Roots' 13th album undun. Death pervades undun; it follows Stephens, a poor kid from Philadelphia and victim to the drug trade, from the moment he surrenders himself to the game all the way to his inevitable end. Along the way, no verse is wasted, no optimism is spared; each line is like a shovelful of dirt on Redford's coffin. At 39 minutes, undun feels like a lifetime, because it is one.

The album is gorgeously arranged by the incomparable ?uestlove, The Roots' expert bandleader and producer, whose recent projects include the "Philly Paris Lockdown," a reinterpretation of the works of the French impressionist composers Erik Satie, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. On undun, ?uestlove renders the lush modality of these composers in the vibrant hues of early-'70s soul music; the eerie, ghostly outro of "Make My" sublimates the drug dealer's hopeless, nihilistic glory into misty Moog and starry synths in the vein of Stevie Wonder's "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You?)."

The record's most affecting element, however, is its lyricism, led with gimmick-less seriousness by Black Thought, a rapper whose storytelling is unencumbered by sophomoric jocularity or false cartoonishness. His desolation is unvarnished and striking in "I Remember," in which he darkly rhymes, "I drew a two of hearts from a deck of cards / A stock trick from my empty repertoire / Another hopeless story, never read at all / I'm better off looking for the end where the credits are." He's given fleeting respite from the stress of the drug trade in "Kool On," but is harshly pulled back to earth the next morning in "The OtherSide," where paranoia surrounds him again: "We obviously need to tone it down a bit / Running around town spending time like it's counterfeit."

The album's guest spots are similarly purposeful. Producer Just Blaze's recent conquests with Drake and Rick Ross (among many) have made him ubiquitous on pop radio, but in "Stomp" he transforms the four-on-the-floor, tambourine-rattling beat into a plodding chain gang. Longtime Roots collaborator P.O.R.N., whose "Every thought is dark as a glass of Guinness" (in "The OtherSide") sounds like a combination of Curren$y and Malice of Clipse. In "One Time," Dice Raw issues a heartbreakingly dark verse on the predestination of his cursed life, asking, "I wonder when you die, do you hear harps and bagpipes? / If you ball on the other side of the crack pipe? / N——s learn math just to understand the crack price / then dive in headfirst like a jackknife." These features peak in "Tip the Scale," the most lush and affecting rumination of crack sales since Kanye West and Jon Brion's "Crack Music."

The album ends with a short suite of pieces based on Sufjan Stevens' instrumental "Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou)" from his album Michigan; it even features the composer on piano. The ghostly backup vocals and muted horns perfectly match undun's spectral artfulness. Brilliantly, instead of transforming "Redford" into a functional sample, it's presented in state. ?uestlove treats "Redford" almost like a piece of movie music, accompanying the action rather than recapitulating it. The result is a cinematic moment waiting to be processed, fictionalized into hip-hop. It's as if the listener zoomed in beyond the safe narrative distance of the song and actually ended up in the movie. This movement of the suite is like a rap track under a microscope, the sample blown up so large that the beats that keep hip-hop as the frame of reference are a horizon enshrouded in fog. By the third act, Stephens has been replaced by DD Jackson in a careening duet with ?uestlove, whose long-cultivated drumming heft and precision play like fists through a plaster wall or bullet holes through a car door. Finally, credits roll over a sublime string quartet, mercifully for Black Thought's black thoughts — at least for a moment, before ?uestlove's meticulously arranged strings are silenced by the chilling, deathly growl of a struck piano.

Black Thought has never been frivolous, but there's extra seriousness to his performance on this record that can only be explained by someone who truly knows him. "Redford is definitely compiled five or six people that we've known from Philadelphia," ?uestlove told Spin magazine recently. "Tariq 's entire family, his cousin and brothers, have literally all been this guy. Tariq is the only one that has escaped the fate that most of his family have encountered. The narrative definitely hits home with him more than any other member of the band."

But hell, what do I know?

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14173 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 06:03 PM

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129. "why is Just Blaze getting credit for Stomp?"
In response to Reply # 116


  

          

isn't that Sean C & LV? Levar Coppin (LV) in the liners


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 11:57 AM

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119. "Chicago Tribune review (4 of 4 stars)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/turnitup/chi-roots-album-review-undun-reviewed-20111202,0,1361973.column

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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justin_scott
Charter member
19829 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 01:12 PM

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120. "hey, i'm credited on "make my!""
In response to Reply # 0


          

lol j/k

big krit's real name is justin scott.

************************************************************

  

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justin_scott
Charter member
19829 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 01:19 PM

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122. "excellent"
In response to Reply # 0


          

i've been listening to the album in the car for the past few days. yet another great album. i dont really have any complaints. less black thought, but greg porn excels so much (he's been dope on every release) i don't even notice it. dice raw confuses me. i've only heard one solo song that was any good to me (i do what i like), but put him on a roots album, and he shines. i love his hooks, and his verses.

************************************************************

  

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pimpinstein
Member since Oct 19th 2004
935 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 06:05 PM

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123. "NSU Review"
In response to Reply # 0


          

I reviewed #undun for the online publication I run, The New Student Union.

http://www.newstudentunion.com/2011/12/02/album-review-the-roots-%E2%80%94-undun/

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Fri Dec-02-11 08:46 PM

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124. "The Globe and Mail review (Canada) - 3.5 of 4 stars "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

"Undun is a remarkable achievement, sparse and tough and beautifully realized. The Roots are carving a new road for hip hop – the question is whether anyone else cares to desert the genre’s gaudy carnival and join them." - The Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/music/disc-of-the-week-a-song-of-experience/article2258232/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A%20RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Home&utm_content=2258232

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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Roadblock
Charter member
7724 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 02:02 AM

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125. "Thee Business"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

joint will get me through winter

@GetoutTheroom
http://getouttheroom.podomatic.com
******************************************
https://twitter.com/Jayric

  

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Riot
Member since May 25th 2005
14612 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 01:19 PM

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126. "hows this compare to prince paul Prince Among thieves or sticky's"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

black trash/kirk jones

in terms of concept and storyline


the sticky fingaz jawn was slept on pretty hard i think
heads (the 'sohh' stereotype side of the fence) wasnt checkin for sticky by then
and it was too cerebral for the hard rock onyx fan



wondering if either album came up
if ever briefly
in the undun process



)))--####---###--(((

bunda
<-.-> ^_^ \^0^/
get busy living, or get busy dying.

  

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johnbook
Charter member
65026 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 03:53 PM

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127. "Review: my original uncut review of undun"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

When I did my review, it was agreed that I should edit it. I did so, and it was cut down by two-thirds. I know a few of you like the way I get long-winded with certain topics, and while I didn't think of it that way when I did the review, my original review of undun came off like one of my old Lesson posts. In other words, if you don't like me going "blah blah blah Prince, blah blah blah Pink Floyd", you can read the final version of my review.

Otherwise, this is my original review, written on the week I received the advance for the album. This version is 4500 words, or the equivalent of the average short story. While it's a "private link", that merely means you will not see it if you go to ThisIsBooksMusic.com, but the review should be available for all to see.
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/2011/12/03/review-the-roots-undun-original-version/

If you haven't read the final version of my review, go here:
http://kevinnottingham.com/2011/11/15/the-roots-undun/


If anything, it's the struggle all creative people (artists, journalists, painters, etc.) have to deal with, and using the power of editing. Sometimes, an edit makes something good or okay a lot better, but this will give all of you a chance to look into what I initially thought of the music.







THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


http://i32.tinypic.com/kbewp4.gif

  

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Kosa12
Member since Jul 19th 2006
4954 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 06:55 PM

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130. "THS ALBUM IS FUCKING AMAZING"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

shit

----------
https://93millionmilesabove.blogspot.com/
https://rateyourmusic.com/~Kosa12

  

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hateur
Member since Apr 29th 2007
11353 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 09:32 PM

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131. "I really dig "I Remember" & "Tip The Scale"."
In response to Reply # 0


          

I could hear Beyonce on "I Remember".

If it were longer it could be a big hit on radio.

  

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QB Eagles
Member since Nov 28th 2011
168 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 09:56 PM

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132. "woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Black took the mask off

  

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QB Eagles
Member since Nov 28th 2011
168 posts
Sat Dec-03-11 10:10 PM

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133. "Hold up though, why this Illmatic time length?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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justin_scott
Charter member
19829 posts
Mon Dec-05-11 07:14 PM

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152. "short album, easier to digest as a fan"
In response to Reply # 133


          

music albums shouldn't be 18-23 tracks anyway. too much.

************************************************************

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 10:00 AM

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158. "Songs in the key of life disagrees with you"
In response to Reply # 152


  

          

---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Wed Dec-14-11 02:05 AM

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227. "what an inane response."
In response to Reply # 158


  

          

  

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QB Eagles
Member since Nov 28th 2011
168 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 12:30 PM

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137. "Redford sounds like some Radiohead"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun Dec-04-11 12:31 PM by QB Eagles

  

          

i would've liked Black Thought to rap over it

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14173 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 01:14 PM

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138. "it's a portion of sufjan steven's song of the same name"
In response to Reply # 137


  

          

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2oAp4mrM-Y


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14173 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 02:53 PM

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139. "I'm thinking I might be liking this album more backwards"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

IDK though


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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denny
Member since Apr 11th 2008
11281 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 04:56 PM

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140. "thoughts...."
In response to Reply # 0
Sun Dec-04-11 04:59 PM by denny

          

me k-board is fightin me so ex`use the spellings.

Definitelie a reallie interesting listen. Haven't spent mu`h time kontemplating the storieline so I'm mostlie just addressing the musik here.

Like alwa`s....everie song is like a 'how's quest gonna make his drums sound like next". It's almost like he'll pi`k a song from somewhere and trie to emulate that kit sound. There is NO drummer in anie genre that has su`h a varietie of tones and engineering tekniques on the drums from song to song as quest. Even when i haven't reallie dug a roots release...this aspekt alone makes them worth a listen.

Fave song is One Time. Had me fist-pumping over here. Piano khords hooked me in right from the start. Interested to know if the piano was live....kinda sounds `hopped up and edited. And the khorus just works for me. Then u add in the or`hestration at the end...Put it on the best of list imo.

I remember is also great. Great khord progression that is 8 bars long....kinda rare for a roots song. Again...loving the orkhestration that appears later on in the song. Also...the k-board line sounds reallie direkt. The whole album has a reallie interesting balan`e between direkt drie sounds and washed out verbed ones. Moreso than on past albums. Great mixing and engineering.

Sleep is great. Kinda a dub or elektronik stile. Real interesting soniks and atmosphere. And love the beautifullie kompressed drums on 'The other side'. Lighthouse gotta great swing on the hihats. And one thing that the Roots might have been guiltie of sometimes....no song lasts too long and some of them leave u wanting more.

Bla`k thought got some rasp in his voi`e on this album. Almost like a blues thing and i love it. On 'Stomp' he even got a little overdrive fuzz on his mike. Tune reminded me of the 'takeover' Doors sample.

One last observation...the band seems a little looser on this album. I noti`ed a kouple little things here and there that might have been fixed via pun`h-ins in times past. A bit more looser in terms of little fills and variations in the instruments. U kould kall this less dis`iplined...or less anal.

Look forward to subsequent listens.

  

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joseph
Member since Feb 20th 2003
268 posts
Sun Dec-04-11 06:01 PM

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141. "So no skits huh??"
In response to Reply # 0


          

jokes people

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
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Sun Dec-04-11 07:11 PM

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142. "PopMatters 8/10 (personal swipe, wish we had 8.5s)"
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Sun Dec-04-11 07:13 PM by Nodima

  

          

I left a note for the editors that if they reached a behind the scenes consensus I'm more than fine with an 8 so we'll see what they do. I've given it dozen listens but I had to hit deadline so, if this disappoints some people I get it. This won't get pub'd til later this week but what the hell. also hasn't been scanned for editing since that ain't my side of the bargain. hopefully mine is one of the lowest scores this album receives if it stays an 8.


---------------------

undun is a deceptively tough nut to crack. On its surface, undun feels like another step in the mature, indie-oriented direction the Legendary Roots Crew set their sights on with last year's How I Got Over. The production is full of pianos, somewhat abstract Radiohead-like interludes and soul hooks from longtime associates Dice Raw and Bilal. Aside from a few tracks it's a notably subdued album, particularly during its opening and closing sections. But when you start to approach on its intended level, as a story album about a deceased 25-year old Philadelphia man named Redford Stephens (a name that alludes to the band's affection for Sufjan Steven's Michigan album), things start to get a little muddled. For starters, liner notes were eschewed in favor of interviews and an iPad app. The app - which I admit not being privy to due to a lack of the proper technology (it also works on iPhones and iPod Touches, neither of which were in my possession over the weekend) - contains a series of photos, music videos and interviews that act as a biography of sorts for Redford. That content acts as a bridge for the listener between the ideas the band threw around in the studio and what led up to their decision to tell this story, sort of like featurettes that might accompany a DVD to better explain side plots and background narrative. Without this information, undun becomes a uniquely challenging release thanks to the band's decision to tell Redford's story in reverse, from death to the beginning of his ending.

Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves started with the death of it's main character Tariq, but followed with a chronological story of how he arrived there. The Roots have decided to Memento the experience, doing everything backward. They've also stipulated that every voice on the record is inside Redford's head, delivering different interpretations of the events and ideas leading to his death much as a person's brain plays against itself. But what's really interesting, to me, is what happens when you play the album itself backwards, essentially forcing the story to play chronologically. In both formats, the album begins with the protagonist asleep, on one end a physical death ("Redford Suite") and on the other metaphorical ("Dun"). In either format, "Lighthouse" and "The OtherSide" act as guiding lights for the character; in reverse, "Lighthouse" finds Redford adrift in the ocean of urbanity, anticipating his demise with "The OtherSide" revealing his welcoming attitude towards death (a theme throughout the record). If heard according to the tracklist, the inversion of these concepts makes equal sense, with Redford wondering what the worth of life is before finding himself facing an appraisal soon after. Many of the songs work this way, playing duel roles depending on what order you choose to experience them, and it makes for a really interesting album. The best expression of this duality is in the "Redford Suite", which can be heard as either: A) Redford's soul leaving his body and ascending / descending (the 3rd and 4th movements seemingly leave this up to the listener to decide) to its destined spiritual resting place or B) the tumultuous nature of Redford's dreams, from which he awakens to the daily stress of having two brothers, one dead and one incarcerated who anticipates Redford's joining him soon.

Conceptually, this album is full of exciting ideas musically and lyrically even if its core isn't far removed from Masta Ace's seminal A Long Hot Summer, if at all. But in can also be, as I mentioned before, a tough nut to crack. Maybe tougher than it deserves to be. Because the songs are often more thematic than structural, it's hard to actually coalesce with the Roots' train of thought and see undun as any kind of storyline. The skeleton is there but over more than a dozen listens I have to admit I feel like I get the same experience either way I listen to the album. If it weren't for ?uestlove's outline on the okayplayer forum or the press coverage emphasizing its novella nature, it would be easy to hear undun as simply another Roots album. Progressive in sound as all Roots albums are, but just another album nonetheless. And in that sense undun is in some ways a step back from How I Got Over, as Dice Raw is given even more hook duty here and either provides just enough chutzpah to see the song through ("Lighthouse", "Tip the Scale") or nearly butchers it ("One Time"). The hooks in general are a bit of a struggle to get through, as "I Remember" isn't much better with its anonymous female vocal echoing dully many times throughout the brief three-minute track where a Gary Porn verse or more of ?uest and Khari Mateen's quite beautiful instrumental could have been. Casting every artist on the album as Redford Stephens also lends to its immediate inaccessibility as a concept, being that their voices sound so different and the subject matter so interchangeable. Especially with the brief, Illmatic-matching runtime, undun sprints through its motions so quickly that it could easily be interpreted as an EP addendum to How I Got Over by those unwilling to put in the time necessary to connect all of Redford's various dots through the lyrics and iPad app.

To undun's sizable credit, however, these gripes have a comforting ability to sink into the greater whole of the album. My personal favorite way to experience this album is as a playlist, with the album first played in reverse and then immediately ran back as the album proper. Redford is dreaming, awakens, makes his terrible life decision, dies and then has his final moments flash before his eyes, played back in reverse order ala Nas' "Rewind". I'm not sure if the Roots intended the album to be playable in this fashion but I guarantee that it most certainly is, and I'm equally certain that this is a first in hip-hop if not album making in general. Despite its various faults undun is righteously solid, no doubt indebted to the atmospheric work of Sufjan Stevens and previous collaborators like Dirty Projectors and Jim James while maintaining that undeniable Roots edge that can only come from the drumkit of Ahmir Thompson, the vocal chords of Tariq Trotter and the more than capable limbs of their six cohorts. Particularly striking for ?uest is his free jazz duet with D.D. Jackson on piano, "Will to Power", a move that I'm not sure ?uest would have felt free to explore just a few years ago. The Roots certainly aren't the band that made Illadelph Halflife, Things Fall Apart or even Game Theory anymore, but it's immeasurably refreshing to know that they don't have to be. Their sampling of Radiohead on Game Theory has led to them being championed as a sort of hip-hop parallel to the group in the years since, but it's undun that truly signals the Roots are every bit as capable of maturing with grace, pride and praise-worthy work as those consistently unpredictable rockers from Oxfordshire.



~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

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johnbook
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Sun Dec-04-11 09:21 PM

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143. "Philadelphia Examiner: * * * 1/2"
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http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20111204_Roots_reach_a_creative_height_in__undun_.html?cmpid=132337163




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johnbook
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Mon Dec-05-11 09:28 AM

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144. "Soul Culture (UK): 4 1/2 out of 5"
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http://www.soulculture.co.uk/reviews/the-roots-undun-album-review/





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johnbook
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Mon Dec-05-11 11:12 AM

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145. "HipHopDX: 5 out of 5"
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http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/album-reviews/id.1805/title.the-roots--undun


THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
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xangeluvr
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Mon Dec-05-11 12:16 PM

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146. "dice's hooks are the low for me"
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same as HIGO. doesn't ruin the songs, but they aren't good to me either.

other than that, the album is great and really shows the roots' musical growth.

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justin_scott
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Mon Dec-05-11 02:00 PM

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147. "which ones?"
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cause lighthouse (other than maybe the intro of swizim, drizown), and tip the scale are great choruses.

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
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Mon Dec-05-11 02:19 PM

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148. "the hook on One Time nearly ruins the song for me"
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otherwise, he's ok. I don't like the girl on I Remember, either.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

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justin_scott
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Mon Dec-05-11 05:38 PM

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150. "one time is okay, but it does sound off"
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i remember is simple, but it works for me.

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yoplay
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194. "I've had that song on repeat today"
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Specifically cause I love that hook! To each their own..

there comes a time in every mans life when he's gotta handle shit up on his own Can't depend on friends to help you in a squeeze, please they got problems of their own---slim kid3

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
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Fri Dec-09-11 09:53 AM

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214. "sound like he recorded that in the shower, gargling water."
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Fri Dec-09-11 09:53 AM by FortifiedLive

  

          

.

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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Ashy Achilles
Member since Sep 22nd 2005
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Mon Dec-05-11 03:55 PM

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149. "still not a fan of "make my""
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if youre going to use a guest vocalist, get someone that can actually sing
maybe they like the fact that he sounds like hes struggling

  

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justin_scott
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151. "see, i love make my"
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Mon Dec-05-11 05:41 PM by justin_scott

          

i see a lot of people mention it, but i think it's lyrically a great chorus. i guess it is a little monotone. to each their own

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xangeluvr
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154. "basically all of them"
In response to Reply # 147
Mon Dec-05-11 11:53 PM by xangeluvr

  

          

>cause lighthouse (other than maybe the intro of swizim,
>drizown), and tip the scale are great choruses.

i can't seem to decide if its 1) the choruses just aren't that good or 2) if its because dice is a terrible singer. depending on the song i think its more one that the other.

lighthouse is a good example. i actually don't mind what's being said during the hook, but dice does not have the right singing voice to deliver it in my opinion. listen to the way his voice is always on the verge of breaking during the chorus, or how it does when he sings the "drown." the intro i kinda suspect too as you mention.

tip the scales? we'll have to disagree on that one because since the first listen i have not liked that hook, again mostly because of dice's singing voice.

one time? damn that song could have been so much better if they would have gotten someone to actually sing that chorus. the way dice's voice breaks on certain words just takes away from an otherwise good chorus. truthfully i think this chorus is one of the best, or the best, SOUNDING choruses to me. the melody fits the song. too bad its dice singing it.

again, in the end i still like the songs, but i hope in the future they can go outside of dice and get some real singers.

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Menphyel7
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185. "shit he killed these hooks come a long way form Rising Down"
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now them hooks was awful....THE SHOW IT MUST GO ON THE SHOW IT MUST GON..til Tip the scale.

that shit is WAYYY better he really came into his own on this album.

the HIGO hooks was good too but he got better with this one.

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xangeluvr
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205. "hooks are better, he needs to not sing them"
In response to Reply # 185


  

          

They need to have gotten actual singers for the hooks, dice sounds awful. The actual words of the hooks are fine, I don't have a problem with the writing.

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johnbook
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Mon Dec-05-11 11:23 PM

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153. "Front-Free.com: positive review"
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http://front-free.com/album-review-undun-x-the-roots/



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L.E.S.
Member since Oct 18th 2006
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:12 AM

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155. "The Other Side is a classic Roots track"
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:15 AM by L.E.S.

          

probably my fav & the chorus really makes it.

for some reason it reminds me of "Long Time." Or its like Undun's version of it.

"Long Time" was one of those joints that stood out as a classic Roots joint from the get go.

  

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Nodima
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:13 AM

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156. "Pitchfork Media: 7.3/10"
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:13 AM by Nodima

  

          

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/16102-the-roots-undun/

The catch is that the inevitable familiarity of this storyline, even in the service of a deep emotional study, is almost an end in itself-- a cycle seen far too often, played out in terms anyone who's ever been or known someone with their back against the wall can understand. And if Undun succeeds at putting one man's criminal-world struggle with free will and fate in empathetic terms, it does so at the expense of any unique details or unusual traits that would set him apart-- Redford is humanized, but he's not entirely individualized. If you've bought an Apple device in the last couple of years, you can download a free app that includes some world-building video clips and photos that give him more of a full-life context. If you're still relying on a Blackberry and a clickwheel iPod, you're left with the voices of Black Thought, Dice Raw, and the now-more-googleable Greg Porn to fill in most of the blanks. They're admirable technicians and can be charismatic on their own terms, but voicing raw emotion isn't a major strength for any of them.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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YourUserName
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:01 AM

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160. "Out of curiosity "
In response to Reply # 156


  

          

Has Pitchfork ever rated any of their higher than a 7 or 7.5? Not feigning outrage or anything, just wondering.

*shrugs*

  

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noit
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:10 AM

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162. "RE: Out of curiosity "
In response to Reply # 160


          

HIGO 8.1
TFA 9.4

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:26 AM

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164. "those albums are suited for the pitch4ork crowd too"
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:29 AM by Nick Has a Problem..

  

          

so there's no surprise there.

my bad. i'm thinking about Phrenology which got an 8.1. didn't know they reviewed TFA.

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handle
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:30 AM

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157. ""
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-roots-undun-is-filled-with-evocative-hip-hop/2011/12/05/gIQAjsNlXO_story.html

The Roots’ ‘undun’ is filled with evocative hip-hop

By Chris Richards, Monday, December 5, 4:26 PM

There are some in­cred­ibly evocative songs on the Roots’ new album “undun.” The electronic pulse of “Sleep” sounds like molten gold dripping from a leaky spigot. The bass at the finale of “Make My” plows tunnels through the cumulus Alps of heaven.

So it’s too bad the one song that the Roots will most likely be remembered for in 2011 is a 16-second swatch of Fishbone’s “Lyin’ A-- B----.”

As the house band on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” the Philadelphia-born hip-hop collective recently spat up the rowdy ska tune as Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann traipsed out onstage for an interview. (Fishbone’s 1985 debut EP clearly wasn’t on Bachmann’s iPod — she was oblivious to the prank.)

The band considered it a joke. Certain corners of the media considered it an outrage. NBC apologized to Bachmann and “severely reprimanded” the Roots. Last week, with the smoke just starting to clear, bandleader Questlove said the stunt was “absolutely not” worth it.

But regardless of whether the decision was in poor taste, it underscored a bigger point about the Roots: The band members might spend their work week taking Jimmy in and out of commercial, but they’ve never stopped thinking of themselves as artists.

It’s an idea addressed more explicitly with “undun,” the group’s most adventurous outing since 1999’s “Things Fall Apart.” But where that millennial triumph folded hip-hop into new shapes like so much origami paper, “un­dun” patiently allows itself to spread in every direction, the way water spills across a tabletop.

That’s just the music, though. Lyrically, this is a concept album with a linear narrative that frontman Black Thought follows with admirable discipline. (And it’s nowhere near as tiresome as that might sound.) The story begins with the death of the semi-fictional drug dealer named Redford Stephens, imitating the popular last-scene-first device that Hollywood is so fond of.

After an opening drone that suggests a flat-lining EKG monitor, Black Thought raps from the perspective of a spirit freshly escaped from the body: “From a man to a memory. . . . I wonder if my fam will remember me.”

Then, back to the beginning, where Stephens’s life slowly takes shape and quickly splinters. Different voices step in to inhabit his first-person, including ascendant Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. and longtime Roots collaborator Dice Raw. All stay true to the character without derailing into hokey, hip-hopera terrain.

Meantime, the band handles each of these diaphanous backing tracks with a pleasing and elegant touch. The album concludes with an orchestral suite that’s every bit as lovely as the beat-driven stuff on the album’s front end. When a band spends nearly three years rehearsing in a dressing room at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, this is apparently what you get.

Two Decembers ago, Questlove said he was paranoid about the Roots being known merely as “Jimmy Fallon’s band.” Hopefully, he’s gotten over that. The Roots have inarguably made television a better place for music, while life on television has inarguably made the Roots a better band.

Let’s hope they never quit their day job. Or get fired.

Recommended tracks

“Make My,” “One Time,” “Sleep”

© The Washington Post Company

  

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imcvspl
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:03 AM

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161. "1st (Black) Thoughts"
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* Still not a fan of the singing hooks, maybe mostly because I'm not a fan of the singers. Which isn't to say they aren't serviceable but The Roots have worked with singers. I imagine Bilal in more spots, Jill Scott on that one joint. The voices themselves would turn the whole thing around.

* Thought is exponentially better on the tracks featuring Greg Porn. And he still gets got on the one he drops that clunker about being the toast of the town like Thomas. But Stomp. Best verses all around.

* The instrumental bits stand out like a sore thumb. Nothing about them scream The Roots to me. They fit in with the whole cinematic feel, but they almost overstate it unnecessarily so.

* LMAO at them going 'out'. I mean I've seen something in that vein live but within a 'suite'. Kudos for that.

* Speaking of sound and design, the snare on Lighthouse. At first I was mad that it wasn't cracking (yo shout out for all the cracking drums on here though), but then I realized with the spaced out verb it created the sound of the ocean. Nice touch.
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woe.is.me.
Member since Aug 06th 2007
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Tue Dec-06-11 11:19 AM

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163. "re: Dice's choruses"
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i like them all as written, but i agree that his voice isn't strong enough or doesn't have quite the right tone for a lot of them. it's not wack, but none of them are great.

imo its a bit of a wasted opportunity.
no disrespect to dice though, his verses really kill it. I think he's stepped up significantly in the rhyme department. although BT has the more introspective verses and hold the standard, i actually find myself *enjoying* dice more. His delivery is less stoic than BT's on this record.

shoutout to porn too.
all around, the mcs really bodied this one.

---
www.ikirejones.com
FW16: After Migration.

  

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xangeluvr
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175. "yeah I recently posted about this above."
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After more listens I too have decided that its dice's voice, not the choruses themselves. Missed opportunity indeed.

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Mudbone
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Tue Dec-06-11 12:26 PM

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166. "Los Angeles Times Undun Review 3.5 stars (out of 4) "
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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2011/12/album-review-the-roots-undun.html

Pop & Hiss
The L.A. Times music blog

Album review: The Roots' 'undun'
December 5, 2011 | 5:31 pm


Album review: The Roots' 'undun'

The Roots’ latest studio album is an artful melding of experimental jazz, ’70s R&B, guitar rock flourishes, wall-shattering beats and rhymes that take a scalpel to the existential angst of the hip-hop generation. It’s both bleak and unexpectedly beautiful.

It’s a tale told in reverse, narrated postmortem by its 25-year-old protagonist, Redford Stephens. The CD starts with his death (“There I go, from a man to a memory / Damn, I wonder if my fam will remember me…”) and moves backward through his ill-fated young life. One of “undun’s” greatest strengths is its use of guest artists; the varied styles of rappers and singers including Phonte, Dice Raw, Bilal Oliver, Truck North and Big K.R.I.T. represent the tangled layers of Stephens’ thoughts — the criminal minded, the philosophical and the places where those two personalities collide.

The multiple voices also function as something of a Greek chorus as Stephens wrestles with questions of fate, free will and destiny in the ’hood where he both lives and hustles. The result is a psychological depth and complexity rarely afforded black folks in modern pop culture, including (or especially) the borough of contemporary hip-hop.

The brilliance of this CD trumps the controversy around the band’s musical dis of Rep. Michele Bachmann during her recent appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Note to the Roots’ Questlove: don’t telegraph all your moves on Twitter and let the music do the talking. ”Undun” says it all.

Roots
“undun”
Island Def Jam
Three and a half stars (Out of four)

  

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handle
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Tue Dec-06-11 01:25 PM

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167. "Rolling Stone 3.5"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/undun-20111206

  

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temps2020
Member since Oct 21st 2003
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Tue Dec-06-11 05:39 PM

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174. "when is the last time RS rated a hip hop album above 3.5?"
In response to Reply # 167


  

          

Rotation:
Phonte - Charity Starts at Home
DJ Flash - Best of Phonte
Blu - NoYork!
Wilco - The Whole Love
Kendrick Lamar - Section 80
DJ Breakem Off & Big K.R.I.T.-Last King 2
Trombone Shorty - For True

  

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Selah
Member since Jun 05th 2002
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Tue Dec-06-11 07:38 PM

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176. "really?"
In response to Reply # 174


          

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/my-beautiful-dark-twisted-fantasy-20101109

  

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johnbook
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Tue Dec-06-11 02:01 PM

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168. "AllHipHop.com: 8.5 out of 10"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

http://allhiphop.com/2011/12/06/album-review-the-roots-undun/



THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


http://i32.tinypic.com/kbewp4.gif

  

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Nick Has a Problem...Seriously
Member since Dec 25th 2010
16352 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 02:04 PM

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169. "Spin 7/10 (link)"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Dec-06-11 02:07 PM by Nick Has a Problem..

  

          

They kinda go in on BT http://www.spin.com/reviews/roots-undun-def-jam

****************************************
Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs and Hawks

"Dude just seems like he's been chosen for some reason. Maybe he did a backspin for Oprah or something." micMajestic

http://www.discogs.com/user/buhloone

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
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Tue Dec-06-11 03:48 PM

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172. "i think the notion that Redford lacks individuality is valid"
In response to Reply # 169
Tue Dec-06-11 03:49 PM by hardware

          

only real chink in the concept. the story isnt really anything we haven't heard but the way is handled is fantastic. but the way the character is handled does feel kind of hands off. its like a line from a song they decided to make an album out of.

but that said, on some level i kinda feel like thats missing the point.

  

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murph71
Member since Sep 15th 2005
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Tue Dec-06-11 03:46 PM

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171. "Heavy Album...."
In response to Reply # 0


          




Def gotta listen to it again....Porn and Dice Raw really shine...

Thought is Thought....Sounds like he's in character on every song...I likes...


Go to song..."Lighthouse"....

Good job fellas....

GOAT of his era......long live Prince.....God is alive....

  

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handle
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Tue Dec-06-11 04:02 PM

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173. "Paste magazine = 8.4"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2011/12/the-roots-undun.html

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 09:32 PM

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177. "So is that Mercedes on "I Remember" ?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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phemom
Member since Oct 22nd 2004
4984 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 05:40 PM

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186. "Word! She kinda reminded me of Solange tho."
In response to Reply # 177
Wed Dec-07-11 05:49 PM by phemom

          

That's not a bad thing.

phemom's the name, all-star writer/
searching 4 journalistic fame, mindframe igniter....www.twitter.com/hayabusaage

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
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Tue Dec-06-11 09:42 PM

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178. "The "Make My" breakdown reminds me a lot"
In response to Reply # 0
Tue Dec-06-11 09:43 PM by sfMatt

  

          

of what Nicolay did on FE's "The Answer" for some reason

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
3894 posts
Tue Dec-06-11 11:31 PM

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179. "First spin...Stomp! "
In response to Reply # 0


          

Exceptional album, I imagine its a slow burner too.

I like this much more than I liked HIGO initially.


On the first Spin, I haven't been able to dissect the concept.


Dice is dope on this, don't get the complaints.

Greg Pron is NICE


STILL wish there was more Black Thought and


I get the tight concept thing...but some of these joints DESERVED to be longer in one way or another.

  

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desmondo66
Member since Jul 21st 2005
401 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 06:06 AM

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180. "Iheartdilla review"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Dec-07-11 06:07 AM by desmondo66

  

          

http://iheartdilla.com/ihd/2011/12/review-undun-by-the-roots.html

Roots are undoubtedly one of the best live acts in the world but their recorded output has often failed to live up to their majestic performance standards.

That is until now.

undun, a concept album based around the life and death of Redford Stephens, a fictional composite figure fatally involved in Philadelphia’s crack trade, is certainly the band’s most consistent long player since Things Fall Apart and is probably their best ever.

The benefits of the band’s tenure as Jimmy Fallon’s house band began to appear on last years How I Got Over when the they let the high quality of their playing speak for itself.

That approach is all over undun with live drums, guitar, keyboards and strings dominating the soundscape.

From the opening ‘dun’, a short instrumental depicting the moment of Rerdford’s death, to the closing four song suite, this album has many moments of lyrical and musical greatness and innovation.

Exquisite details can be found in every track. The squeaking of the piano on the Redford, the multiple vocals on Sleep, the funky as hell drums on The Otherside and the Spectorish piano on One Time all denote a production team at the top of its game.

Some will say the number of guests - Dice Raw, K.R.I.T., Phonte and Greg Porn among others – hinders the skills of resident MC Black Thought.

In the past this may have had some substance but this time around, the band’s co-founder cements his reputation as one of the best rappers around.

His flow and lyrics are the high points of this album. It’s his verses that perfectly fit the atmosphere conveyed by the musicians and the overall feel of the album.

That said The Roots certainly pick and use their guests perfectly. Bilal contributes a soaring hook on The Otherside, the Jazzyfatnastees contribute beautifully to a couple of tracks and mad pianist DD Johnson lets it rip in a crazy duet with ?uestlove on Will to Power from the closing suite.

This album, though different in sound, feel and tone to both Watch the Throne and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, extends the artistic contribution hip-hop is making. on its own, to innovation in popular music.

It is in short a work of bravery, sophistication, performance and production of the highest quality.

It deserves THE Grammy in 2013.

iHD rating 5/5

Cheers

Richard

www.thelonius.co.uk

  

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Orbit_Established
Member since Oct 27th 2002
52780 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 09:03 AM

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181. "Holy shit. This album is a masterpiece. Wow. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


Artsies -- just stop



----------------------------

Young Broadway Star Urgently Needs a Bone Marrow Donor. Is it you? http://MatchShannon.com/







O_E: "Acts like an asshole and posts with imperial disdain"




"I ORBITs the solar system, listenin..."

(C)Keith Murray, "

  

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Mr.Ouija
Member since Sep 26th 2011
435 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 08:29 PM

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187. "define masterpiece"
In response to Reply # 181


          

>
>Artsies -- just stop
>
>
>
>----------------------------
>
>Young Broadway Star Urgently Needs a Bone Marrow Donor. Is it
>you? http://MatchShannon.com/
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>O_E: "Acts like an asshole and posts with imperial disdain"
>
>
>
>
>"I ORBITs the solar system, listenin..."
>
>(C)Keith Murray, "

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 09:46 AM

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182. "The A.V. Club review (A)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

With the tight, concise, ferociously focused Undun, however, the immensity of the project's ambition is matched by its seamless, masterful execution.


http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-roots-undun,66094/

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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Track_10
Member since Apr 08th 2005
343 posts
Wed Dec-07-11 09:53 AM

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183. "All Music review - (4.5 of 5 stars)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

"The existential rhymes, seemingly created with a shared vision, avoid outlining specific events and focus on ruminations that are grave and penetrating, as if each vocalist saw elements of himself and those he has known in Redford. What’s more, Undun probably shatters the record for fewest proper nouns on a rap album, with the likes of Hammurabi, Santa Muerte, and Walter Cronkite mentioned rather than the names of those who are physically involved in Stephens’ life." - AllMusicGuide


http://www.allmusic.com/album/undun-r2322105/review

_______________________________________
Current Playlist:
2 Chainz - Daniel Son: Necklace Don
Logic - Bobby Tarantino
Folded Like Fabric - Luxeries EP
dvsn - Sept 5th
Drake - Views
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Netsky - 3

  

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Anonymous
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Wed Dec-07-11 10:44 PM

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188. "this is a great fucking album"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I love the concept of the entire thing and the way it was pulled off.

I love (and I'm not sure if it was on purpose but I'm assuming it was) how it goes backwards and then the suite goes forward so that when it's on repeat it play perfectly right back into the beginning again.

it really reminds me of the Xzibit joint Recycled Assassins. it gives it that feeling of this lifestyle being an ongoing tragedy.

was that the idea ?uest?

I would've loved to explore what the guests could've done if placed in the record as people in Redford's life as opposed to playing him from different angles.

and I only say that because upon first listen, I didn't feel like each MC really varied that much per topic to show different sides of the character as much as each track did.

but I'm going to give it more time to analyze that aspect.

But this is definitely better than the last two albums.

need to sit with it more to see how it holds up next to Game Theory.

it is without a doubt in that Illadelph/TFA/Game Theory class as their best.

I had a good feeling about this album since hearing about the concept.

and like I made an appreciation post in the past, The Roots really do put their all into every album and they have been doing that longer than any other hip-hop act and that's something special.

regardless of my complaints about the guests and the Dice hooks, they release quality fucking music. period.

I have a feeling this album will be in their top 3.

  

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Anonymous
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Wed Dec-07-11 10:47 PM

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189. "one more side note"
In response to Reply # 188


  

          

how much is Bilal charging for these hooks?

because it would've been WELL worth the price for him to do ALL of them.

that dude is beyond a dope singer and is perfect for the concept and mood of this album.

i'm trying not to complain about Dice but I just don't get the logic of using a sub-par singer just because he writes the material.

Bilal would've pushed this album completely over the fucking top in my opinion.

  

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xangeluvr
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Thu Dec-08-11 12:34 AM

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191. "same thought I've been having all day"
In response to Reply # 189


  

          

What doesn't make sense to me is how in interviews they keep talking about how heavily scrutinized this album was. All the verses had to be revised multiple times, even cutting Blu in the process, and the musical tracks were all changed too. So with that being true, its really hard for me to get past the fact that they didn't once say "hey I wonder what it would be like if someone else sang this hook."

The more I listen the less I'm liking Dice on the hooks. I like Dice when he's rapping, he did his thing on the album, but the singing takes me out of the zone when listening. I was hoping more listens would make me like them more, but no. Especially now after seeing bilal with the band on Fallon. No joke, the intro "dri-zown" thing along with the chorus damn near ruins Lighthouse for me.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 02:13 AM

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192. "hard to argue with that..."
In response to Reply # 189


  

          

I would also suggest Mercedes is way more useful than nondescript background vocals.

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
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Thu Dec-08-11 02:17 AM

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193. "I like the previous 3 albums quite a bit."
In response to Reply # 188


  

          

But I think Undun tops all of them, including Game Theory.

I am playing Undun front to back on repeat with no qualms.

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 09:28 AM

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197. "people in Redford's life as opposed to playing him from different angles"
In response to Reply # 188
Thu Dec-08-11 09:29 AM by bentagain

  

          

After a week of nonstop listening, I think they are characters in Redford's life

Krit is Redfords spirit. His verse is Redford's one on one conversation with God, asking for mercy and pleading for forgiveness and understanding about his situation and the choices he made in the absence of alternatives, etc...

Phonte is Redfords assassin. His verse is a detailed account of getting geared up and ready for taking Redford out

Porn, Dice and Truck are Redfords crew

Porn is the baller. The guy that's all flash, Slick Rick jewelry and Jay Leno cars. He probably dies before Redford.

Dice is the reluctant hustler. He's got a conscious and questions the decisions they made from the beginning. He probably survives and finds a life outside of the game

Truck is muscle. He's probably satisfied with the status they have in the neighborhood and doesn't have a desire to rise much above a street level cat.

Redford, Porn, and Truck remind me of the characters in Paid in Full. Redford being Wood Harris' character. Quiet, low-key hustler, but he's got all the juice. Porn would be Mekhi Pfifer's character, his need to be in the game is strictly material. Truck is Camron's character, always on the block and into dirt.


---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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Anonymous
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Thu Dec-08-11 03:46 PM

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203. "I thought ?uest said on here that"
In response to Reply # 197


  

          

the guests were taking on different personalities of Redford.

I could be wrong.

I like the way you're thinking about it though and that way makes more sense to me but I would need to go back and really listen to see if it adds up.

I've been listening with the assumption they're all Redford due to what I thought ?uest posted about.

  

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bentagain
Member since Mar 19th 2008
15040 posts
Fri Dec-09-11 09:23 AM

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213. "different personalities of Redford"
In response to Reply # 203
Fri Dec-09-11 09:23 AM by bentagain

  

          

I don't think it's too far of a stretch to interpret different personalities of the same character as individual characters themselves

Maybe because the voices are different, it was easier for me to think of them as different people in Redford's life, instead of 5 different personalities inside one character

There was also a transistion where BT just seemed to be all in

That's why I thought of him as Redford

I imagined BT and Dice as friends from the beginning

and when BT decided to go all in on the hustle game, Dice went along with it because that was his man, but he seemed to be more conscious of the pitfalls and possible outcomes of that decision

where as BT may have also contemplated those same issues, and said fuck it, I'm in it to win it, whatever the cost may be

along the way, they add Porn to the crew

they crew up while still youngins, and he's wildin from the beginning

Porn's character lacks any restraint and is close to being completely out of control

Truck feels like a FA, and because Redfords crew is hot for the minute, he's watching their back and flexing on rivals

I also took the sequence of their appearances literally

Dice is there from the beginning

Porn shows up when they start making noise

and Truck shows up at the height of their success



---------------------------------------------------------------

If you can't understand it without an explanation

you can't understand it with an explanation

  

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Anonymous
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Fri Dec-09-11 10:40 AM

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216. "actually it was confirmed that they're all Red"
In response to Reply # 213


  

          

listening again, it does sound that way as well as opposed to them playing different characters.

I love the way it came out but I think it would've been fun to explore the other option as well.

  

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xangeluvr
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Thu Dec-08-11 11:00 PM

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208. "Quest already said its all Redford though"
In response to Reply # 197


  

          

i don't see the confusion.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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Hellyeah
Member since Jul 05th 2008
6449 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 06:26 AM

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195. "this is a great album, make my, kool on & tip the scale and the"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

orchestral tracks at the end are stellar....but i think we've had enough "dark" albums from the roots...i really hope they'll make something fun next time

  

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handle
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16736 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 10:54 AM

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198. "Straight.com - Vancuver "
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.straight.com/article-558046/vancouver/roots-spin-tale-life-cut-short

Spoiler alert: the character at the centre of the Roots’ 13th album ends up dying. Actually, that’s not much of a spoiler, since Redford Stephens starts out dying; his flatlined heart monitor is the first thing we hear on the opening track, “Dun”. The songs that follow are his postmortem musings on his short life, told in reverse and focusing on the pivotal moments.

Well, that’s the concept, anyway. What exactly those turning points are is hard to figure out, since the Roots’ lead MC and lyricist Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter doesn’t so much provide a clear story arc as present a series of images. These add up to a picture of a young boy in the hood who takes a series of wrong turns and winds up on a morgue slab at 25. According to the group’s website, “Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’.”

What’s missing, though, is any real sense of who Redford is or exactly what drove him to his demise. If you want the character’s back story, well, there’s an app for that, one that features videos and photos intended to provide listeners with a more immersive experience. There’s an argument to be made that if an album requires supplementary material to explain its concept, perhaps the concept isn’t strong enough to stand on its own. I won’t go that far, but I will say that, on its own, undun feels like a novel with several key chapters missing.

None of which is to say that the album isn’t worth hearing. It’s all (perhaps predictably) downbeat, and as such isn’t brimming with potential hit singles, but there are some great tracks. “Stomp” is a stone-cold killer, built from a dead-simple but effective kick-snare beat courtesy of drummer Amir “?uestlove” Thompson. That’s topped by a fuzzy ’70s-funk guitar line and a staccato piano riff reminiscent of ’90s gangsta rap, over which guest MC Greg Porn offers this blunt wish-I’d-never-been-born couplet: “Put the knife in ya back cut down to the red meat/Daddy should’ve let me be a stain on the bed sheets.”

Equally bleak is “Lighthouse”, on which Redford’s existential despair is couched in maritime metaphors: “You’re facedown in the ocean/And no one’s in the lighthouse”.

The record closes in a way that reveals the Roots’ musical aims to be as lofty as its conceptual ambition. It’s an instrumental suite with four short movements. The first is “Redford (For Yia-Yia and Pappou)”, the achingly tender Sufjan Stevens piano piece that gave undun its character’s first name (his surname was surely inspired by Stevens’s own). The most gripping movement, however, is the third, “Will to Power”, which is one minute and three seconds’ worth of ?uestlove and Canadian jazz pianist D.D. Jackson going totally off the rails. It’s a burst of chaos that’s over almost as soon as it begins, and as such is a perfect illustration of Redford’s imaginary life, which spiraled out of control and then came to an abrupt, needless end.

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
10382 posts
Thu Dec-08-11 12:23 PM

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199. "comments like this really irk me..."
In response to Reply # 198


  

          


>It’s all (perhaps predictably) downbeat, and as such isn’t
>brimming with potential hit singles


I hate the idea that I live in a world where "OtherSide" and "Kool On" don't qualify as potentially big singles.

And all this talk about the album being inaccessible in comparison to other Roots albums!??!??

What the fuck are these people hearing? Just because it's on some dark/sad shit it has no ability to be catchy? I've had those cuts stuck in my head since I heard them play one.

  

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phenompyrus
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Thu Dec-08-11 12:28 PM

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200. "GREAT album, gets better with each listen, and BANGS in the car."
In response to Reply # 0


          

*standing ovation*

http://twitter.com/phenompyrus

Get Out the Room
http://getouttheroom.podomatic.com
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-out-the-room/id525657893

  

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justin_scott
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Thu Dec-08-11 03:14 PM

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201. "a complete live version of this album would kill"
In response to Reply # 0


          

not that the album doesn't. it hasn't left my car in a week.

************************************************************

  

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Anonymous
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Thu Dec-08-11 03:47 PM

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204. "^^^there it is"
In response to Reply # 201


  

          

do you hear that version of The OtherSide live on Fallon?

why isn't that shit on the record! lol

I think it would be dope if it was a double album with Disc 1 being what we have and Disc 2 being the live versions.

I'd drop 20 on that for sure.

  

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phenompyrus
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Thu Dec-08-11 03:38 PM

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202. "For as important as the lyrics are for this, why aren't they in the book..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

Wouldn't that seem like a no-brainer?
Also, why not include the videos too?

Nitpicks, and doesn't take away from the great album, but still...

http://twitter.com/phenompyrus

Get Out the Room
http://getouttheroom.podomatic.com
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/get-out-the-room/id525657893

  

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forgivenphoenix
Member since Dec 08th 2007
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Thu Dec-08-11 04:52 PM

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206. "RE: Dice's hooks"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I know Dice can't SANG, not like Bilal or maybe like Jill Scott or someone who's a classically trained singer, but i think the texture and the struggle of him getting through the words kinda embody the spirit and state of mind of Redford. like he wouldn't be someone with a polished sensibility because of his environment and the voice of Dice kind of matches.

of course this doesn't account for Bilal singing on The OtherSide, but every explanation can't be precise all of the time.

__________________________________________

http://www.twitter.com/chriscjamison/

People who don't take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.

Peter Drucker

  

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xangeluvr
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Thu Dec-08-11 11:02 PM

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209. "this would be a copout and an excuse"
In response to Reply # 206
Thu Dec-08-11 11:03 PM by xangeluvr

  

          

no, i think they were just letting dice sing it because he wrote the words. plus they probably saved money by not going with other singers.

>I know Dice can't SANG, not like Bilal or maybe like Jill
>Scott or someone who's a classically trained singer, but i
>think the texture and the struggle of him getting through the
>words kinda embody the spirit and state of mind of Redford.
>like he wouldn't be someone with a polished sensibility
>because of his environment and the voice of Dice kind of
>matches.
>
>of course this doesn't account for Bilal singing on The
>OtherSide, but every explanation can't be precise all of the
>time.

GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
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Fri Dec-09-11 05:20 AM

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210. "jesus, let it go."
In response to Reply # 209


  

          

dice sounds fine.

the end.

  

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xangeluvr
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212. "heaven forbid we discuss something on a discussion board"
In response to Reply # 210


  

          

>dice sounds fine.
>
>the end.


GamerTag and PSN: PokeEmAll

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
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220. "harping endlessly on about something makes for wonderful discussion."
In response to Reply # 212


  

          

  

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im_freshhh
Member since Oct 26th 2007
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Thu Dec-08-11 09:31 PM

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207. "'Kool On' & 'Lighthouse' are my favorites"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

i fucks with PORN, someone get that dude a deal & an album out, now!
not really a fan of Dice, but i really felt him on 'Lighthouse'.
overall, the album is extremely dope.
probably wont leave my car stereo for a few weeks.

_________________________________________________________________________________

I'm a simple man. I like pretty, dark haired women and breakfast foods.
IG/Twitter: @sammiie_b

  

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handle
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Fri Dec-09-11 06:30 AM

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211. "IGN "
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://music.ign.com/articles/121/1214302p1.html

The Roots: Undun Review
Philly band delivers one of the best of their career with latest album.

One of the few actual bands in rap, The Roots take a startlingly different direction for their thirteenth album. The Philly geniuses offer their first concept album, telling the fictional tale of recently deceased Redford Stephens reflecting on his life on the streets. Musically floating between shimmering neo-soul and funky blaxploitation-era R&B, they create a gorgeous vibe that envelops you from start to finish with ?uestlove's thumping live beats laying the path for Black Thought's verses to stalk over. The result is a mesmerizing, downbeat listen that instantly places itself near the top of the band's impressive catalog.

Opening with the eerie flat line sound on atmospheric instrumental "Dun", the album quickly finds Redford waking in the morgue on "Sleep", struggling with his fate over the off-kilter horn infused sway of the music before evaporating into the mellow cool of "Make My". The oozing organ, ticking beat, and flickering guitar make for a suitably calming backdrop, accepting his fate as the gravity of the situation begins to weigh on him, "If there is a heaven, I can't find the stairway".

The piano-laced beat of "One Time" stuffs a lot of messages into a single track, as the struggle to get by in the streets, "Stick to the script, n*gga / f*ck your improv", is told between a hook questioning the need to rush through life and the sad reality of the some in the hood learning math just to understand the price of crack. The singular focus of "Lighthouse" works a bit better, as Redford ponders his cycle of self-destruction.

While the marching thump of "Stomp" recalls him pondering suicide and wondering whether he should have even been born, the album has an uplifting tone that comes through in the guitar slithering through funky feel-good tune "Kool On", as he readies for a night on the town, "Come get your cool on / Stars are made to shine". The chilled beat and drippy keys humming in the deep make for a great closer on "Tip The Scales" as Redford ponders the fairness of the justice system before the album drifts into the pretty closing instrumental suite, built off Sufjan Stevens' "Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou).

The album's only faults are its short length, leaving you badly wanting more after it concludes just short of forty-minutes, and the use of guest rappers to flush out the tale of Redford's life. Though the appearances from Greg Porn, Big K.R.I.T., and Dice Raw are all fantastic, it would have made for a stronger narrative had Redford's tale been told solely through the singular voice of Black Thought. As Blial's passionate hook over the surging organ of "The OtherSide" proves, guests are certainly welcome in the hook. The piano speckled through ?uestlove's steady thumping beat makes for a definite winner, as Black Thought warns, "Yo, we obviously need to tone it down a bit / Running round town, spending time like its counterfeit".

Minor complaints aside, The Roots' latest is a breathtaking album that proves the longtime band still has some tricks up their sleeve.

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
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Fri Dec-09-11 09:59 AM

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215. "40+min of blank space, i wish the album played chronologically."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri Dec-09-11 10:00 AM by FortifiedLive

  

          

like:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10-14 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 ->

of course they'd have to put in a little work for the tracks to transition nicely on the 2nd half. i played it in this order the other day and it was pretty dope.

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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johnbook
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Fri Dec-09-11 02:23 PM

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218. "Even if it's not meant to be heard that way? Interesting"
In response to Reply # 215


  

          

Nah, it can be heard anyway you want, but when it comes to concept albums, many are adamant about hearing it only one or two ways. They'll get into fights because of it.




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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
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Wed Dec-14-11 10:16 AM

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229. "yeah."
In response to Reply # 218
Wed Dec-14-11 10:18 AM by FortifiedLive

  

          

it'd still play the way the originally intended in the first half - death to birth. and while it's no mystery to the listener that it plays in this order, it plays just as great the other way around and, to me, it makes me appreciate the album even more, seeing it from both sides. perhaps making the second half from birth to death as one hidden track or download would've been an awesome extra while still keeping their vision of the album.

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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Nodima
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Sat Dec-10-11 02:43 AM

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222. "yea this was the basis of my PopMatters review"
In response to Reply # 215
Sat Dec-10-11 02:44 AM by Nodima

  

          

I really, really enjoy this album when I play it back-front-back. It's great either way on it's own but it's best to me when you loop it like that.

As if you hear how the story went down, and then the last moments of his life flashes before his eyes as he dies. It's just neat to me, and even though it's the same songs they have a different feel in the different sequences so I have no real trouble pretending it's a 70 minute album.


~~~~~~~~~
NO LA

"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee

http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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FortifiedLive
Member since Dec 26th 2006
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Wed Dec-14-11 10:17 AM

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230. "><"
In response to Reply # 222


  

          

_______________________________________

<<progressions.

  

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dgonsh
Member since Aug 14th 2002
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Fri Dec-09-11 12:51 PM

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217. "This could be their Berlin (Lou Reed)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I see a Roots Come Alive esque live release of the album.

It's dark and while well received critically, it doesnt have "DYWAM" or "TFA" level fandemonium.

I can really see this becoming a cult favourite with an incredible live DVD performance of the whole album. Full orchestra, sufjan, dd, bilal, d, dice, mercedes, porn, etc etc.

That's what I'd love to see come out of this. It tells a story. It's morose. Its tracks are not all easily digestible individually. But as a whole record, I could see this being something special.

********************************************************************




"I *always* quote myself. I'm the only reliable source on *most* subjects" - OKP's First Lady of Knowledge, Janey

  

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handle
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Fri Dec-09-11 02:33 PM

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219. "Look at OKC review"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://newsok.com/cd-review-the-roots-undun/article/3630076

The Roots “Undun” (Def Jam)

Possibly the saddest but most thematically ambitious work of The Roots' lengthy career, “Undun” is a brief and emotionally rich concept album about Redford Stevens, a fictional street criminal killed in pursuit of ill-gotten gains. Working backward from his death, “Undun” unspools with downcast cinematic lushness — a little Marvin Gaye's “What's Going On,” a bit of Curtis Mayfield, and some Kanye West circa “808s and Heartbreak” — and much like the Guess Who song that lends the album its title, it was too late for Redford Stevens.

“I did it all for the money, Lord,” Big K.R.I.T. raps on “Make My,” the character's last words as he prepares to “make my departure from the world.” Anchored by Questlove's constant groove, The Roots deliver an unabashedly beautiful musical coda, setting the listener up for the rousing “One Time,” depicting Redford at his height of gangsta power, fearless, and the band constructs a stately, rousing melody that belies the fact that Redford is going “to make it to the bottom, it's such a hard climb.”

After marking off the character's life from end to beginning, “Undun” ends with a four-movement suite, beginning with Sufjan Stevens' “Redford (For Yia Yia and Pappou)” and then culminating in a crash of drums and cascading piano lines and an ending string quartet, mournfully exhaling the last life out of Redford. It's a thug's life, but as “Undun” so deftly illustrates, there was a time of hope before the street got him. For years, The Roots' best card to play was the consummate musicianship of the band, but with “Undun,” Questlove and his band have created a lyrical and quietly moving album about a life wasted quickly that questions why stories such as this one have to be told so often.

— George Lang

Read more: http://newsok.com/cd-review-the-roots-undun/article/3630076#ixzz1g4K1fde2

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
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Fri Dec-09-11 10:10 PM

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221. "would have been cool to let Thought sing a hook or 2 IMO"
In response to Reply # 0


          

but I don't have any complaints- Dice is dope on this.

Actually only hook that took time to grow on me was Lighthouse- sh*t (at first) sounded like the theme song from some rejected 80s sitcom starring Scott Bao as a Lighthouse operator or some shit.

But I'm past it.

Would have been cool to get Jean Grae or Jilly or the Right On chick to sing I Remember though...

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
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Sun Dec-11-11 08:14 AM

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223. "um, that's the jazzyfatnastees on I Remember"
In response to Reply # 221


  

          

they have a lot of history with the roots. more so than jean grey or even jill scott.

  

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Stadiq
Member since Dec 21st 2005
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Sun Dec-18-11 05:02 PM

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236. "fair enough but I think the hook could use more"
In response to Reply # 223


          

personality

  

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IslaSoul
Member since Aug 01st 2003
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Mon Dec-12-11 03:37 AM

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224. "Lighthouse is amazing"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          


That hook & beat are stuck in my head

http://islasoul.bandcamp.com

  

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johnbook
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Tue Dec-13-11 02:28 PM

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226. "100 Albums, 100 Weeks: A/A-"
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http://100albums100weeks.blogspot.com/2011/12/final-grade-aa.html




THE HOME OF BOOK-NESS:
http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/
http://twitter.com/thisisjohnbook
http://www.facebook.com/book1


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mathmagic
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Wed Dec-14-11 08:36 AM

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228. "Dice Raw sounds great."
In response to Reply # 0


          

the fuck are yall complaining about?

>This thread might be the official review thread for Undun.
>
>
>Review #1:
>-------------------------------------------
>Johnbook put up the first official review earlier today,
>11/15/2011.
>
>http://kevinnottingham.com/2011/11/15/the-roots-undun/
>
>I'm not going to swipe it - give him the page views.
>
>Has samples of "Lighthouse" and "The Other Side" that you
>haven't heard yet.

Jordan!

  

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handle
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Fri Dec-16-11 01:47 PM

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231. "WBEZ review - 3.5 out of 5"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2011-12-16/album-review-roots-%E2%80%98undun%E2%80%99-def-jam-94876

The nihilism inherent in committing to a life of a crime and the havoc that choice wreaks in African-American communities is not a new subject for the Roots; one could argue that it’s been a primary theme on every album the Philadelphia collective has made since 1993. What is new about the group’s 11th proper studio effort Undun is labeling this all-too-common and all-too-familiar story “a concept album,” complete with many of the trappings we’d expect from any self-respecting progressive-rock band, and screaming for a bit of recognition as capital-A “art.”

Hard to fault Questlove & Company on that front, since even before they accepted the corporate paycheck, healthcare benefits, and more regular home lives afforded a late-night talk-show band, they’d long since been taken for granted in the music world, consistently given props as “the best live band in hip-hop,” but rarely garnering the attention they deserved for their new albums (and while 1999’s Things Fall Apart and 2002’s Phrenology remain the masterpieces, really, they’ve never made a bad one). Then, too, they’ve hardly become the hackneyed Doc Severinsens of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, proving they’re as sharp as ever with the song choices that usher out the usual procession of glad-handers and self-promoters. (We are, of course, speaking of Bachmanngate.)

In any event, there’s a faint whiff of over-reaching and a hint of ponderous pretension on Undun, mostly on the lyrical/conceptual front.The story starts at the beginning, with the death of fictional protagonist Redford Stephens, and works backward through the tale of his bad choices and worse actions. But the effectiveness of this Joycean setup is hurt by the album’s musical arc: The opening funereal elegy “Undun” makes sense in context, but the closing four-part classical-meets-free jazz instrumental suite (with extra added Sufjan Stevens!) just doesn’t fit. Minus the album’s accompanying multi-media app (shades of Bjork!), it’s hard to follow the story, much less catch the biographical details of our anti-hero. And while the raps from Black Thought and assorted guests like Dice Raw and Greg Porn have some memorable lines (“You either done doin’ crime or you done in”; “I live life trying to tip the scales my way”; “Lotta niggas go to prison/How many come out Malcolm X?”), they lack the novelistic details we’d expect from, say, a Ghostface Killah, much less an Iceberg Slim.

All of that said, if you can separate the musical middle of the album from the beginning, the ending, the app, and the (failed) ambitions, tunes such as the old-school funk-pop groover “Kool On,” the haunting “Tip the Scale,” the gospel-soul anthem “Make My,” and the ferocious but melodic “The Other Side” rank with the very best the collective ever has recorded, driven home like an unrelenting rain by the most powerful snare drum in hip-hop or R&B, and boasting a profound artistry, intelligence, and consciousness that just doesn’t need heavy conceptualizing or Sufjan samples to be lauded as worthy art.

On the four-star scale: 3.5 stars.

  

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sfMatt
Member since Jun 20th 2002
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Fri Dec-16-11 05:09 PM

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233. "out of 4."
In response to Reply # 231


  

          

>On the *four-star* scale: 3.5 stars.



  

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handle
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Fri Dec-16-11 01:48 PM

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232. "News-mail.AU 4.5 out of 5"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.news-mail.com.au/story/2011/12/16/album-review-roots-undun/

Album review: The Roots, undun

Scott Kara | 16th December 2011





Tags the roots, undun
HERE, the Roots are known as an alternative hip-hop outfit - and in their 20-year reign they have made some of the finest music to come out of that genre.

The Roots.
Related links

Preview: El Camino - The Black Keys

HERE, the Roots are known as an alternative hip-hop outfit - and in their 20-year reign they have made some of the finest, and most intelligent music to come out of that genre.

Meanwhile, over in the US, they're also known as the house band for popular talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And it's that breadth of talent that makes this Philadelphia band - yes, a real live band led by rapper Black Thought and drummer ?uestlove, which is another rare phenomenon in hip-hop - so damn good.

While they have jazzed up and wigged out hip-hop to create a dizzying sonic palette all of their own over the years, with 1999's Things Fall Apart and 2002's classic Phrenology two of the band's pinnacles, on last album, How I Got Over, they moved towards a more stylish and smooth sound. It was an ambitious, guest-laden hip-hop cabaret, but no less forward-thinking and powerful in its intent.

On undun - the band's first concept album (more on that soon) - they continue in the same vein, only it's even more refined and even-tempered. Although Stomp is a sinister exception.

>> More entertainment news

Make My starts out as a sweet refrain - like the hip-hop equivalent of yacht rock - but as with the rest of the album the singing is interwoven seamlessly with tough, probing raps.

It's some yacht rock-style vocals that provide many of the album's most beautiful moments - Lighthouse wouldn't sound out of place on a Hall & Oates album (apart from the rap bits perhaps) and on One Time guest singer Phonte is channelling Toto. But it works.

Elsewhere, neo-soul singer Bilal Oliver does a serenading star turn on album highlight The Otherside, Kool On is, indeed, one of the coolest things to get down to this summer, and if the beat of Tip the Scale was any more laid-back it would need beating with a big stick. But even that works.

Then there are the delicate glitches and trumpet runs, and stunning fragility of a song like Sleep, which is an example of just how exquisite and accomplished this eleventh Roots album is.

Though the guest list is not as diverse as How I Got Over, experimental folkie Sufjan Stevens' brief but beautiful turn on the first part of the album-ending Redford Suite is an inspired choice. In fact, Stevens' song Redford (For Yia-Yia & Pappou) from his 2003 album Michigan is the inspiration for the concept album's main character Redford Stephens. The record details his life growing up, struggling to survive and turning to crime to make ends meet.

Not that it necessarily plays out like a concept album, because apart from the bookends of Dun at the beginning and the Redford Suite, the songs stand up by themselves.

Just like the Black Keys' latest, released last week, with undun the Roots make a late run for album of the year.

Stars: 4.5/5
Verdict: Another album of the year contender

  

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handle
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234. "NPR- Weekend Edition (story + 10 audio minute review)"
In response to Reply # 0


          

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/18/143891292/the-roots-weave-a-tale-of-crime-and-karma?ps=mh_frhdl1

Black Thought and ?uestlove BOTh speak on the record

The Roots Weave A Tale Of Crime And Karma

The Roots might be best known today as the house band on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. But the group has been making boundary-pushing hip-hop for more than two decades, and has just released its latest album, undun.

More than just a collection of songs, undun is a kind of ultra-modern opera about a drug runner named Redford Stephens, who comes to ruin after a brief, violent life. The group's MC, Tariq Trotter — better known by his stage name, Black Thought — says that although Stephens isn't real, the character's story hits close to home.

The Roots say many of the lyrics on undun went through numerous rewrites. Here's an excerpt from the track "The OtherSide":

Yo, we obviously need to tone it down a bit
Running round town spending time like it's counterfeit
Everybody catching hay fever like sinuses
Step in my arena let me show y'all who the highness is
You might say I could be doing something positive
Humbled head down low and broke like promises
Soaking and broken in a joke like comics is
Not enough paper to be paying folks compliments
But when that paper got low so did my tolerance
And it ain't no truth in a dare without the consequence
Listen if it not for these hood inventions
I'd just be another kid from the block with no intentions
On the dock of that bay serving a life sentence
Even if I'm going to hell I'm gonna make an entrance
Yeah, let 'em know I'm getting cheese like omelets is
But I'm the toast of the town like Thomas is
"Where I'm from, the life expectancy is about 25 or 26. My father was murdered at 26. I remember when I was 15 or 16 years old, I couldn't imagine what life would be like past the age of 30, just because I didn't know that many men who had lived beyond their 20s," Trotter says. "It's not specifically my story, or my father's story, or my older brother's story. But it could be any of those."

"We wanted to tell the story in a reverse-linear mode, so the album pretty much starts with death," says drummer and bandleader Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, who cofounded The Roots with Trotter in 1987. "We thought it was important to show that when you choose this path, it's a dead end."

Drugs and crime are common themes in hip-hop, but Thompson says they're often described in the past tense — e.g., Jay-Z's early raps about his old life as a cocaine dealer.

"It's always a grandiose vision of this particular character," Thompson says. "We wanted to show the minion — the guy who's lowest on the food chain."

"I wanted to present it in a way that wasn't exaggerated or cartoonish," Trotter adds. "I wanted to make it easier to understand how people wind up in the situations they wind up in — how easy it is."

LEARN MORE
?uestlove explains the title 'undun'
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Black Thought discusses The Roots' new level of exposure
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Telling the story right meant giving careful consideration to the lyrics. Trotter says that, more that any other Roots album, undun came together via a slow and deliberate process of revision.

"Everything you hear me saying on this record is at least the fourth or fifth draft," he says. "I would write a verse and then rewrite it and rewrite it. I don't sit down and write a song, and then slam down the phone like, 'We got another one!' and pop some champagne. It's like if someone's writing a novel: You write a series of drafts."

  

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handle
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Sun Dec-18-11 02:43 PM

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235. "Relevant Magazine Review"
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http://www.relevantmagazine.com/culture/music/reviews/27563-review-the-roots-undun

rewarding and focused concept album.


It was Orson Welles who said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” When The Roots—who make no bones about their hip-hop being art—go off the rails, it’s usually because they should have listened to him. Their 2002 album Phrenology was filled to bursting in a good way—with drummer/bandleader Questlove’s massive grooves and lead emcee Black Thought’s ideas about hip-hop and life and addiction—but at times it was just too much. In fact, on every Roots album until last year’s How I Got Over there have been moments—usually the more experimental ones—where the banks overflowed and the message was lost.

Let’s be clear: that’s a picky criticism of a handful of really great albums. But when The Roots announced this year’s undun would be a concept album, named after a song by The Who, told in Memento-style reverse about a fictional drug dealer named Redford Stephens and the moment of his murder, and Redford is named after a Sufjan Stevens song and the final moments of the album are a four-movement suite of instrumental explorations of that Sufjan Stevens song—well, it made me kind of nervous.

I shouldn’t have worried. The best artists, understanding what Welles was getting at, are able to use concept as another limitation—just like key or genre or arrangement—that provides focus and direction. And that’s exactly what The Roots have done here: undun is the most focused record of their career.

Oh there I go / from a man to a memory, says Black Thought early on in “Sleep.” And that focus on death doesn’t let up until the very last verse on the album, a Dice Raw rumination on prison that ends with the lines, Only two ways out, digging tunnels or digging graves out. Black Thought has described undun as an “existential retelling” of Redford’s story, which is appropriate. There are no scenes or exposition or dialogue here. In fact, if the album does tell Redford’s life story in reverse, it’s pretty hard to tell. Every note on the album is tinged with doom, and each lyric is haunted by one precise moment in Redford’s life: the moment before death.

That sounds gloomy, and it is. Questlove and the band spend the 38 minutes of the album painting Redford’s story in different hues of the same black-and-white, film-noir feel. The few moments of lightness are what make all the difference: keyboardist Kamal Gray’s hazy synths give the deathbed-regret of “Make My” a beautiful, glowing clarity. Dice Raw’s lilting hook in “Lighthouse” is urgent and life-affirming—even amidst the overwhelming pessimism of the lyrics: You’re face-down in the ocean / There’s no one in the lighthouse—and it’s the catchiest moment on the album.

Speaking of Dice Raw, his guest verses are each scene-stealers (including maybe the album’s best line: I wonder when you die / Do you hear harps and bagpipes / If you born on the other side of the crack pipe), and Phonte, Big K.R.I.T., Greg Porn and Truck North all contribute verses as well. But this is clearly Black Thought’s album. If, as his critics say, he lacks variety in his flow and style, he more than makes up for it in depth. Throughout undun he’s in poet-philosopher mode, and not a lyric is wasted; each line points to another one on the album, each turn of phrase has depths of meaning that reveal themselves on multiple listens.

If anything, undun suffers from having too much focus. Compared to the genre-busting groovefest of Phrenology or the globetrotting pop of How I Got Over, undun is downright unexciting. But I get the feeling it’s meant for those who spend time with it—those who read the lyrics and their fan interpretations on Rapgenius.com and download the album’s accompanying iPhone app to watch the staged interviews with Redford’s friends and family. Redford’s decisions have consequences; watching them play out in slow motion demands self-examination. Even if it’s fictional, this album is personal, and its deepest rewards are personal.

Oh, right. “Redford Suite,” the Sufjan-inspired instrumental closer? It’s brief, and it’s beautiful. The chamber music would seem out of place if it didn’t crop up in a handful of other places on the album, like the Questlove-composed string outro of “Tip the Scales.” That outro serves as a moment of beauty amidst the heaviness of the album, and the Redford Suite inverts that formula—a light, hopeful, minimalist string quartet punctuated by a heavy, violent and atonal drums-and-piano breakdown. It’s a twist of the knife, a stumbling block for listeners attempting to find abstract solace and redemption in the instrumental closer, which starts to serve as a thesis statement for the album on repeat listens. In Redford’s world, even the simplest beauty is touched by violence.

So undun, while not The Roots’ best album, might be their deepest, and it’s uniquely rewarding. They’ve worked within a very strict set of limitations to craft a truly generous, incredibly thought-provoking album about death, regret and the choices that make a man. Dig deep and it’ll change you.

Steve Slagg is a musician, writer and tech geek living in Chicago. You can follow his songs, his blog or his tweets, or e-mail him at steve (dot) slagg (at) gmail (dot) com.

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
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Thu Dec-22-11 10:53 PM

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240. "late, but got dang @ 'Lighthouse'."
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Thu Dec-22-11 10:54 PM by Dr Claw

  

          

copped the CD, threw it in the Volvo during tonight's misadventures on the open road.

Dice Raw sounds way different to me nowadays... like he got his nose cleared out or something.

man. of all the tracks, "Lighthouse" is that shit. good work as usual, Roots.

  

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MILF DOOM
Member since Oct 22nd 2004
3675 posts
Fri Dec-23-11 01:46 AM

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241. "Rap Reviews"
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http://www.rapreviews.com/

The cover of The Roots "undun" reminds me of an Black Thought rhyme from their "Organix" days, when he promised to "rip the vocal backflip" for his city of Philadelphia for no other reason besides the fact that "the kid is a bad bro." It's possible some people forgot how sweet and badass the "all the way live, from the 2-1-5" kids were though, given that following the release of "How I Got Over" they took up permanent residence as Jimmy Fallon's jam band on the late night TV talk show airwaves. Giving Michele Bachmann a dose of hip-hop justice by playing Fishbone's "Lying Ass Bitch" for her entrance on Fallon's show may have earned them the ire of both the host and NBC, but for me it was a pleasant reminder the crew could still push buttons.

"undun" is exactly the kind of raw uncut rap one would expect from the greatest hip-hop band of the modern era, although it also includes a reference to their changing career direction. We'll get to that in a moment though. The first thing that stands out to me is that this if you don't include EP releases, this may be the shortest Roots release to date, clocking in at just under 39 minutes. The second thing that's inescapable is that this is purposefully designed to be a "concept album," telling a life story from start to finish, much like the unheralded Organized Konfusion album "Equinox." The opening track may at first sound like a modem's dial tone, but it's actually a flatline for the mother of the story's protagonist, one Redford Stephens. As he comes of age and learns to hustle to survive, "Make My" tells the tale with a little help from Big K.R.I.T. and Dice Raw. As usual though even on a Roots track with strong cameos, Black Thought's presence and verbals stand out:

"Tryin to control the fits of panic
Unwritten and unraveled, it's the dead man's pedantic
Whatever, see it's really just a matter of semantics
When everybody's fresh out of collateral to damage
And, my splayin got me +praying+ like a +mantis+
I begin to vanish, feel the pull of the blank canvas
I'm contemplatin, that special dedication
to whoever it concern, my letter of resignation
Fadin, back to black, my dark coronation
The heat of the day, the long robe of muerte
That soul's in the atmosphere like airplay
If there's a Heaven I can't find a +Stairway+"

The one person who probably comes in on par with Thought in any cameo is Phonte, who excels on the excellent song "One Time." This is my second favorite joint on this far too short CD - the hard drumming of ?uestlove and piano jammy jamming to it make for a classic headnodder you could have found on any Roots CD of old. The throwback funk of "Kool On" is as good if not better though, and once again the guests are well chosen as Greg Porn and Truck North do not disappoint - the former in particular is someone I need to keep my eye on. Thought is an unstoppable and untoppable force though, displaying his precise lyrical attack in the middle of the track:

"Yo, I'm never sleepin like I'm on methamphetamines
Move like my enemy ten steps ahead of me
Say my reputation precedes me like a pedigree
Gentlemanly gangster steez, beyond the seventies
Holdin fast money without runnin out of patience
Move in silence, without runnin up in places
Cake by the layers, rich but never famous
Hustle anonymous still remain nameless
In hindsight, gold come in bars like a Klondike
The minute before the storm hit is what I'm calm like
Suited and booted for a shootin like it's prom night
It's suicide, right? Pursuers tried like
to no avail and a hero's what they died like
I got 'em waitin on the news like I'm Cronkite
Not in the limelight, or needed for the crime right
No boasts, just bodied and chalked close to the line tight"

This is the peak of the album though. Other than a resurgence near the end for "Tip the Scale," the songs get progressively shorter and shorter, ultimately leading to an instrumental quarter at the end to close out Redford's story. One shouldn't read that as implying the other songs after "Kool On" are bad, rather that they are digested so quickly that they don't make the impact musically or lyrically of the earlier work. "Stomp" certainly lives up to its title, and even though there have been more "let's reminisce" tracks in hip-hop than you can shake a stick at, Black Thought's "I Remember" is both worth the time and an important chapter in Mr. Redford's story, which in this album's short span comes to a tragic yet expected end.

If one can express disappointment in "undun," it's that it sets out to tell a story and tells it well, but delivers a short story or a novella where fans of The Roots would have undoubtedly preferred a full length novel. It almost feels like they skipped a few chapters, or that an overzealous editor deleted them, but that's hard to accept given The Roots continued their long-standing practice of numbering each song sequentially. That makes the closer "Finality (4th Movement)" track #170 in their career, though much like the numbering of UFC pay-per-views that's selectively skipping events and "half steps" here and there to derive a conclusion. Regardless this is The Roots of 2011 though - having to make their point quickly in a shorter amount of time, much like choosing to play Fishbone for Michelle Bachmann moments before she came on stage. It would be false to say that it doesn't work, but as a critic AND a fan, I still want more of what the Illadelph's funkiest have in store.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

.................. ___@@@__
......_____//____Ř_____\\__________
--o---------ASYLUM POLICE---------------@)
---- `----(@)=========+====(@)---'

  

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justin_scott
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Fri Dec-23-11 09:42 PM

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242. "debuts at #17 on billboard hot 200. 2nd week, falls to #70 "
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.

************************************************************

  

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Dr Claw
Member since Jun 25th 2003
130740 posts
Fri Dec-23-11 11:29 PM

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243. "seriously... this might be the most satisfying Roots album in years."
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like... this shit reminds me from top to bottom why I liked the Roots in the first place. a whole lot of "how did they do that", attention to detail. and it's not even retro in the slightest. this is modern, this is daring, this is... man.

I'm just glad they're at the point in their career that they could record something like this.

  

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handle
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Tue Dec-27-11 11:46 AM

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244. "The Smoking Section"
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“The Other Side” – Review Of The Roots’ undun
http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2011/12/review-of-the-roots-undun


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“The Other Side” – Review Of The Roots’ undun
ALBUM REVIEWS By Greg Whitt on December 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

The artwork for The Roots’ thirteenth studio album undun depicts a child completely inverted, mid-air, after springing up from a frayed, dirty and potentially dangerous, mattress. In that fleeting moment he’s flying. For a fraction of a second he rises above his surroundings. On undun, the listener witnesses the brief flight of the fictional, but all too real, Redford Stephens, a 25-year-old young man. He, as we learn on the first song, has died tragically. From there, the album follows a reverse narrative structure that allows the listener to trace Redford’s steps and see what led him to his demise. While ambitious, undun isn’t quite so successful in executing that bold storyline, but still stands out for what it is: a beautifully sequenced, cohesive, body of work that can jockey for position among the best albums in The Roots’ discography.

On undun, The Roots were able to perfect a consistently strong aspect of their career long approach: the guest appearance. Each vocalist, emcee and instrumentalist works together in an almost symbiotic fashion. With no part outshining the whole, the album develops like a masterfully shot film with a talented ensemble cast. Star turns from Phonte playing the bad guy on the sudden “One Time” (“weak-heartedness cannot be involved/stick to the script nigga/fuck your improv“) and Big K.R.I.T.’s resigned acceptance of mortality on the somber lullaby that is “Make My” show each guest applying what they do best without losing sight of the overall theme. Surprisingly strong performances by Money Making Jam Boys cohorts Greg Porn and Dice Raw, also add value instead of just occupying space in between Black Thought’s verses.

Fans of Thought as an unbridled microphone fiend might be taken aback by his subdued vocal approach on undun. He uses his voice as a sniper rifle as opposed to his usual 100-rhyme-drum assault weapon. The best example of this is his surgical dissection of the jagged guitar riffs on “Stomp” (“Speaking of pieces of a man/Staring at a future in the creases of my hand/It reads like a final letter I’m leaving for my fam but/It’s written in language they will never understand“). Throughout the album, Thought plows through without wasting one bar on unnecessary flourishes. A sense of desperation in his voice is subtle, but palpable throughout the album.

Even with the eclectic vocal performances, the production is far and away the star of this album. From rainforest lush orchestral strings, to incomparable percussion work by ?uestlove and throbbing keys, each track is an unique aural experience that still manages to work together collectively. Highlights included the upbeat “Kool On.” The classic rock meets classic soul soundscape seems perfect for a Spike Lee, “protagonist floating above rapidly worsening or confusing circumstances” montage. The subtle nod to Wu-Tang’s “Tearz” on the funereal “Tip The Scale” is beautifully haunting. ?uestlove anchors rich strings and delicate keys in hip-hop with classic boom-bap drums.

The album’s only glaring weakness doubles as its greatest selling point. Even with the CliffNotes from ?uestlove’s pre-release press run, the album isn’t terribly different thematically from say, How I Got Over or Game Theory . The narrative thread just isn’t that strong compared to the music’s quality. The story’s plot isn’t as clear and easily expressed through the lyrics as advertised, Nevertheless, undun is held together via pure emotion evoked by the production and the seamless way the vocalists collaborate. With each member of the cast of players supporting the other, The Roots prove once again they’re the real Philadelphia Dream Team.

  

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handle
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Thu Dec-29-11 12:59 PM

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245. "MetaCritic score: 88/100"
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http://www.metacritic.com/music/undun

  

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