Album review

Roots - Phrenology

Any new Roots album comes with a three-part guarantee: sublime, R&B-guested crossover ("Break You Off" with Musiq, "Complexity" featuring Jill Scott), muso indulgence (the hideous epilogue muddying the otherwise sparkling "Water") and, crucially, a willingness to push the envelope of their organic jazz-rap that leaves the competition standing. The latter is best exhibited on the riffy "The Seed 2.0" and stripped-bare squiggles of "Rolling With Heat", less successfully on the electroclash-influenced "Something In The Way Of Things". Thankfully, though, Phrenology is more therapy than quack science.

Rating: 3 / 10


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 43rd Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...