CORPORATE LINE: The brilliance of The Roots is not that they are “real musicians” or that they make insightful literary references in their album titles, but the shifts they constantly make, which make them analogous to time–always moving. It’s the list of what the band has yet to explore that ?uestlove creates and crosses off while The Roots record an album (speed metal, electronica, drum and bass, Stones-style rock–done, done, etc.). The real secret in watching The Roots progress is in what you think they will do vs. what they do. It’s the gap, the space between things that they bridge–tried/not tried, expected/unexpected–like the silence between beats which makes music.
“Star” – A fantastic song although skimping on the lyrics it has a vibe that is unmistakable—and it doesn’t hurt that Sly and the Family Stone’s love is floating all around it.
“Guns Are Drawn” and “I Don’t Care” – The Roots sound as if they are reaching for a radio-single and are missing the point.
“Don’t Say Nuthin’” – What is the deal with the mush-mouth chorus? Is that supposed to be hot? It’s too bad because the rhymes are some of the best on the entire album.
“Boom” – Why copy-cat Big Daddy Kane? What happened to the group that used to thrive on originality?
“Somebody’s Gotta Do It” – Anywhere else and you might not give this track a second thought be it doesn’t fit with the Roots.
FRANKLY: Just when you think you know the Roots they slip something in that wasn’t expected. The Roots seem to have been uprooted. The Roots are a band first and everything else second—and its hard to tell listening to The Tripping Point.
+ Rae Gun