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The Roots 

undun (Def Jam)

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Being Jimmy Fallon’s house band certainly hasn’t left the Roots creatively fallow. Over two remarkable decades, Philly’s finest have crafted 10 good-to-great 
albums on the foundations of tight live instruments and sonically coherent sensibilities
---undun marks their ascension into the realm of the artful. Tracing the death of the fictional young gangster Redford Stephens, Black Thought is our lyrical Tiresias guiding us through a piano-dominated wasteland. The Roots paint no pretense of hope in these abject streets; undun’s shuffling funereal beats, crispy drum-pocked bullet sprays, heart-heavy raps, and a gorgeous orchestral coda affirm a goodness of intention in the face of it. undun is theatrical, bold, poetic---the album of the year.

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Vol 25, No 20
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