Ok, well, for all of you out there who have not had the opportunity to see the Roots perform live... I'm so sorry, but... There's hope. This album, a live album, is as good as live albums get. And I mean it with all certainty in the world. Normally, I wouldn't be likely to mention HIP HOP and LIVE together in a sentence that contained the words "GREAT ALBUM."
Given that factor, let me qualify: First of all, I LOVE hip hop, and I've seen some great hip hop shows. I ALSO love rock and roll and have seen some fantastic shows, but two of my favorite shows I have been to included the Roots.
Now, to the BREAD of the review. The Roots, though a hip hop group, are one of the most talented musical bands that are out there today. Every single musician in their band has amazing skill at what they do (including Black Thought, the lyricist, who is REGULARLY overlooked when it comes to great lyricists). A live Roots show is more than just a show, it's an experience. Both times I've seen the Roots live, they were "just" the opening band, and both times, they've opened and I've been privy to some jaw dropped kid looking at me and saying "wow, that was F@#king AMAZING!", soon after said Jaw-dropped kid had looked at me like I was completely crazy and in the wrong place when I went nuts at the Roots introduction to the stage.
This album, is not quite the same as a live Roots show, but, it's about as close as it gets. It's also amazingly clean in terms of production (as Roots performances are), and the setlist that is played on it is AMAZING. I only WISH I had gotten to see this setlist at the concerts I saw. If you know the Roots, then this is a must have (I had all of their studio albums before buying this, and I'd probably say that after Organix (which is a little strange to many, because it's so jazzy), this is probably my favorite).
My advice to you is to buy this album and get a ticket to see the Roots at a venue near you. THEY WILL NOT DISSAPPOINT!!!