Includes DVD disc.
The Roots: Black Thought, ?uestlove, Leonard Hubbard, Kamal The Klanger, Scratch, Ben Kenney.
Additional personnel includes: Musiq, Nelly Furtado, Cody Chestnutt, Jill Scott, Talib Kweli (vocals); James "Blood" Ulmer, Jeff Lee Johnson (guitar); Sarah Chun, Nuah Vi, Ken Golder, Michelle Golder (cello); James Poyser (Moog synthesizer); Knuckles (percussion); Tracey Moore (background vocals); Alicia Keys.
Producers include: The Grand Wizzards, Kamiah Gray, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, Cody Chesnutt, Tahir.
PHRENOLOGY was nominated for the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Japanese version features bonus tracks: "Thirsty," "Rhymes and Ammo" and "The Ultimate."
Beloved by both the critical intelligentsia and hardcore hip-hop fans, the Roots have made their mark straddling the worlds of rap and soul while being one of the few acts to mine beats and rhymes with the aid of live instrumentation. The three-year gap between 1999's studio effort THINGS FALL APART and 2002's PHRENOLOGY is ended with a platter's worth of hip-hop manna spiced up by guest appearances that lean more toward organic collaboration versus cynical marketing manipulation. Head MC Black Thought leads the charge as he manages to wax poetic about the drug problems of running buddy Malik B on the irresistibly funky "Water" (featuring riffs by guitar great James "Blood" Ulmer). Among the guests who meet this creative high water mark are Talib Kweli (the crisply delivered "Rolling With Heat"), Nelly Furtado (the sweet and sharp "Sacrifice"), and fellow Philly fanatic Jill Scott (the soulful "Complexity"). Lucky fans who pick up the limited edition version of PHRENOLOGY get treated to a bonus DVD featuring live footage of "The Ultimate" and "Double Trouble" taken from the MTV2 $2Bill Show.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.108) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (12/12/02, p.94) - "...Strikes a very funky balance between righteousness and humor, between headbanging grooves and truth-telling..."
Spin (1/03, p.71) - Ranked #16 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year" - "...This fast, funky, fuming album bears as much relation to 'jazz rap' as a Hyundai Elantra does to a muscle car..."
Spin (p.102) - "[T]he band play furious, funky, and abstract with aplomb."
Q (01/01/04, p.80) - Ranked #19 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[A] widescreen vision that suggested the Beastie Boys at their
Uncut (2/03, p.86) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...[They have] a willingness to push the envelope of their organic jazz rap that leaves the competition standing..."
CMJ (12/9/02) - "...The group adds yet another genre to a growing list of covered sonic territory that already includes Jazz, Soul, Funk and Blues: the blazing first full track, 'Rock You,' says it all..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.73) - Ranked #6 in Mojo's "Best Urban Albums of 2002"
- Rock You
- Rolling With Heat
- Waok (Ay) Rollcall
- Thought At Work
- Seed, The (2)
- Break You Off
- Pussy Galore
- Something In The Way Of Things (In Town)