Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Album Review: Undun by The Roots

There is a lot of rap music out there that glamorizes the street thug life. There is also a lot of rap out there that expresses the machismo of the street thug life. So you're ripping people off, you're driving fancy cars, and you're killing anyone that messes with you. That sort of thing.

But we all know that the life of a thug is not all that glamorous and the macho front is a survival mechanism. Undun from The Roots is a cycle of songs about a fictional kid in New York City born in the mid 70's, dead in 1999. This album got a lot of critical love when it came out late 2011 and it is all deserved. It's a great collection of songs and paints a very non-glamorous picture for us of this kid's life.

Musically The Roots deliver a wonderful soundtrack that feels dirty and gritty like the city and creates a dark mood that moves the listener from song to song. More importantly though we get a solid set of lyrics that are thoughtful and insightful. This is art and The Roots have managed to create something very special.

You could drop the last four instrumental tracks and lose nothing, but since they are there I will say I think they hurt the album, so I would recommend you listen to the first 10 tracks then repeat.

I would highly recommend this album. As I said this falls under the label of art as much as anything and it's the kind of album that leaves you wondering why there isn't more stuff like this.

Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 4 out of 5 stars for Really Good.


  1. HURRAH! I'm so happy to see this record gets such a strong review at the HP. I'm a newcomer to the Roots, mostly through Jimmy Fallon's program and their fantastic appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba, which features one of my absolute favorite songs of all time.

  2. I honestly can't remember the last time we had a four-star album. This could end up being the album of the year. Very exciting.