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Phrenology

Roots Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.40 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Phrenology + Things Fall Apart (Ltd.Ed) + Game Theory
Price For All Three: CDN$ 39.28


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Product Details


1. Phrentrow
2. Rock You
3. Sacrifice (feat. Nelly Furtado)
4. Rolling With Heat (feat. Talib Kweli)
5. WAOK Roll Call
6. Thought At Work
7. The Seed 2.0 (feat. Cody Chestnutt)
8. Break You Off (feat. Musiq)
9. Water
10. Quills
11. Pussy Galore
12. Complexity (feat. Jill Scott)
13. Something In The Way Of Things [In Town] (feat. Amiri Baraka)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

If you were wondering what the heck phrenology means, the Roots wouldn't have it any other way. Hip-hop's hardest-working live band continues where they left off with Things Fall Apart, forcing listeners to think outside of the Hot 97 FM box--or just plain think. On "Thought at Work," lead emcee Black Thought--the most criminally underrated wordsmith of his time--weaves captivating flows over a neck-snapping break beat, while on "Water" he boldly addresses the controversy surrounding his partner-in-rhyme Malik B's alleged substance abuse. While collaborations with Nelly Furtado ("Sacrifice") and Talib Kweli ("Rhymes and Ammo") read much better on paper than they sound, the catchy, up-tempo call-and-response routine utilized by the crew on the latter song will amp up Roots nonbelievers. As a bonus, Jill Scott's dreamy falsetto refrain hammers home some finer points about love on "Complexity." --Dalton Higgins

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars up against the wall July 11 2004
Format:Audio CD
There are a lot of people in the world who will spend their lives following. Will only listen to things popular, eat things that dont sound weird, and will continue that way. If you are one who lives that way, you need to snap out of it and listen to the roots.
It took some time for the group who did things differently to do things differently. The roots were always the live band with the hot rapper.. This time they are the stellar band who are making an album full of "songs." there aren't many people in music who can spell that word.
Black thought went from talking about his band mate's drug problems, to sacrifices the roots have made to get here, to relationship issues, to acting on temptations, to the downfalls of media, without Malik B and Dice Raw, and not a lot of guest rappers. Talib was definitely welcome to be part of the experience, and he did what he does best.
The Amiri Baraka poem was definitely a nice flavor of icing for the cake.
this album was not as cohesive as their best effort, "Illadelph Half Life", but it is damn good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another step in the evolution . . . May 20 2004
By Bulluck
Format:Audio CD
It seems as if the Roots got tired of being classified as the group that's "more fun to think about than actually listen to" (thanks for that, Rolling Stone). Phrenology marks the band's tightest and, in my opinion, most accessible release yet.
Drifting farther away from the relaxed, darker beats of Illadelph Halflife and the eclectic, minimalist flows of Things Fall Apart, this album shows the Roots taking a more melodic route while maintaining the self-awareness, socially conscious attitude that defines their music amidst the MTV hip-pop. An all-around excellent album.
87) Phrentrow - A different intro than past Roots' albums; shorter and more effective in leading into . . .
88) Rock You - A great way to start the album. Interesting found-sound beats, the song hints that maybe Black Thought et al. are tired of taking the indirect route. Comes out of the gate with a steady, aggressive flow from BT.
89) !!!!!! - Yeah, um, where did this come from? Interesting choice by the band, and well-placed at the beginning of the album. Not a perfect fit, but Roots fans should make some allowances.
90) Sacrifice - This track absolutely hums. The bass carries you through the entire song. Easy flow from Thought (he seems very comfortable), and nice snare work from ?uestlove.
91) Rolling with Heat - Dear Lord, you can actually taste ?uestlove's drums on this one. Organic and perfect. Talib Kweli starts the rhyming with his unorthodox, barely controlled flow that seems helter skelter but actually works. Love that guy. BT chips in a solid second verse. Solid song.
92) Waok (Ay) Rollcall - Ursula Rucker reading a list of the Roots' influences/favorite hip-hop colleagues. Nice to know, but a little long. Points for mentioning Justin Warfield, however.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Did Anyone Else Miss Malik B? (4.5 Stars) April 26 2004
Format:Audio CD
The Roots are a classic group, so they tend to put out classic or near classic music with every release. This album is no different.
87) Phrentrow - The Intro. Not really necessary, but I liked it.
88) Rock You - The Roots start off with a bang as Black Thought rocks the spot over a rock meets rap type of beat.
89) !!!!!!! - Without missing a beat, they go right into some hard rock tyraid. Is that Zach De La Rocha on there?
90) Sacrifice feat. Nelly Furtado - One of my favorites. Nelly Furtado is the perfect compliment to this song. The beat is real mellow, but it's still hot.
91) Rolling With Heat feat. Talib Kweli - Pure fire. Kweli rocks the spot with Thought on a tag team joint.
92) WAOK (AY) Rollcall - A well timed interlude that gives props to the pioneers of the rap game.
93) Though @ Work - The best song on the album. Period. Black Thought is a top 10 MC of all time in my book. He's still underrated. The beat is sick too.
94) The Seed 2.0 feat. Cody ChestnuTT - The second single. You've probably heard it. I'll move to the next.
95) Break You Off feat. Musiq - The first single. You've probably heard it. If not, it's fire....trust me. Moving right along.....
96) Water - Tariq makes a plea to Malik B. to straighten up and fly right after a battle with drug addiction. It's touching, but not sappy or corny. The beat is off the hook too. It's the next best song next to "Thought @ Work".
97) Quills - The Roots use an old Swing Out Sister interpolation on the hook for this song. It works very well too. And again, Thought shows why he's probably THE most underrated MC out right now.
98) P_ _ _y Galor - The song speaks to how America is controlled by sex and its power as a marketing tool. Great theme. Great beats.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 1 of 2 5 star hip hop albums I own Feb. 28 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is in my opinion the best Roots album I own, and I have all of them except the live cd (by the way, you got to see these guys live- seeing ?uestlove on the drums is amazing). Each of their other albums gets 4/5 stars from me. I love good hip hop (Roots, Blackalicious, Common, GangStarr, Mos Def, Jurassic 5 etc) but I am almost always disappointed with the albums. They are either repetitive, use intro/outro/midtros that ruin the flow of the album or are cool for one listen, or they are not solid throughout. This album has none of those traits, and that is why I give it 5 stars. They do use an intro and a midtro, but it flows with the album. They mix up the songs and the beats like on all their albums, and do not get repetitive (be warned: in order to not get repetitive they include some rock songs and even a head banging song). And every song is at least 4/5 in my book. I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys hip hop, and to anyone who enjoys good music. These guys are really impressive; get all their albums to see what I am talking about.
If you like this try Common "Like Water For Chocolate" Mr. Lif "Emergency Rations" Mos Def/Talib Kweli "Black Star"& Blackalicious "Blazing Arrow" (which is the other 5 star album I own).
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Roots Yet
If you're new to or "wondering" about The Roots then definitely get this album. This album is The Roots at their peak. Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by Beardyjin
3.0 out of 5 stars These Roots Still Have Some Growing To Do
The Roots are an interesting hip hop group in that they play their own instruments and are apparantly really good live, however, on this album, most of the songs are really... Read more
Published on June 2 2004 by Glenn Nippert
5.0 out of 5 stars [...]
The album is steller. The Roots have done it again. Pay close attention as we are witnessing the EWF (Earth, Wind & Fire) or Franky Beverly & Maze of our days (& I mean... Read more
Published on April 8 2004 by Big City
2.0 out of 5 stars departure
I recently saw the roots in Belfort, France over the summer, and I must say that my expectations were in no way exceeded. In fact, the show was horrible. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by dan
5.0 out of 5 stars It only gets better
I'm glad to see that many other reviewers agree with me that what makes The Roots so incredible is that unlike many other bands, their albums become increasingly better. Read more
Published on April 1 2004 by The Sesh
5.0 out of 5 stars first roots album i got...
being in Australia, there is not a basic non existance of hip hop specialty stores, and so to find out about the roots, I was very lucky , over the course of a few listens, I fell... Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2004 by kasey barkle
5.0 out of 5 stars Roots triumph again
Alright Dan from Castro - U are obviously a fan of the commercial hip-hop (ie. Ludacris, Cash Money) and it is apparent that u took all ure opinions from the dips#*! Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004 by Ian Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Reinvention
Just before the release of "Phrenology," the Roots seemed to be at the peak of a brilliant career; just 4 albums of their full-band hip hop had brought them moderate popularity and... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by C. Wroble
4.0 out of 5 stars You Are Now In Tune To The Sounds Of The Legendary...
First off, I would just like to say that that "Tony Montana" guy has no idea of what he's talking about. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004
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