Saturday, July 10, 2010

How I Got Over

by The Roots

With How I Got Over, the Roots once again prove that they are on a different level than just about anyone else working in hip-hop.  They are easily the most 'musical' group in the hip-hop world, and their time on the Jimmy Fallon show has clearly helped them to improve their craft and the quality of their jams.

This album finds them in a more thoughtful and contemplative place.  The roots of this (sorry) were seen on Rising Down, their last album, but I feel like they've arrived in a new place with this disk. 

Songs like 'Walk Alone', 'Dear God 2.0', and 'How I Got Over' demonstrate a rare maturity in this genre, and the songs shift seamlessly from one to the other, showing that these guys are making albums, not just a bunch of singles. 

Black Thought demonstrates once again that he is one of the hardest MCs alive, although he never gets recognition for that.  The crew is joined by their usual collaborators Dice Raw, PORN, Peedi Peedi, and Truck North.  Other guests include the Monsters of Folk, Joanna Newsom, STS, and John Legend.  Of special note are the two guest spots each given to Blu and Phonte Coleman (of Little Brother).  These are two rappers I have a lot of respect for, and it's nice to see Blu get the exposure, and it's nice to hear Phonte cut loose over some amazing backing music.

There is hardly a mis-step on the album.  The intro track is easily skipped, and I didn't really feel 'Web 20/20', but the rest of this thing is a monster.  Halfway through 2010, I think I've found my pick for album of the year.

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