The Roots

The Tipping Point (Geffen)

Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to step back. Shying away from the cracked, free-form jams of their previous album, 2002's Phrenology, the Roots return to the more traditional boom-bap-cum-Native Tongues aesthetic of their previous work on The Tipping Point, especially on tracks such as "Stay Cool" and "Boom," although they've also adopted a more muscular and jagged sound, on display on the album's first single, "Don't Say Nuthin'." And while ?uestlove and crew lay down some of their hardest-hitting rhythms to date, this is clearly lyricist Black Thought's show. Whether affecting the flow of Kool G. Rap on "Boom," taking aim at George W. Bush on "Why" or spitting a raucous verse on the instantly gratifying basement blues of "The Mic," Black Thought is at the top of his game and establishes himself here as one of the premier lyrical stylists in the game.

 
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