Friday, December 23, 2011

Listen: The Roots - Undun

The Roots never cease to amaze me. This has to be one of the freshest albums I've heard in a long time. I usually wouldn't say that something is classic before its time but I think this will be an album that I'll look back on 10 years from now. Although I've heard many critics who are disenchanted with them not being "hiphop" enough. Their new album "Undun" might bring about more of that same sentiment because of the soulful hooks from known and not-so-well-known artists. The album also ends with 4 instrumental tracks, which is atypical for any "hiphop" album. I listened to the album without knowledge of the concept of it until reading a couple reviews and coming across the short film below. I could tell their was some underlying thread throughout the album but reading more about really helped me overstand it all. The story is about the life of a fictional character, Redford Stephens, who you will see is not so "fictional".

 "undun is an existential re-telling of the short life of one Redford Stephens (1974-1999). Through the use of emotives and Redford’s internal dialogues the album seeks to illustrate the intersection of free will and prescribed destiny as it plays out ‘on the corner’. Utilizing a reverse narrative arc, the album begins as the listener finds Redford disoriented–postmortem–and attempting to make sense of his former life. As he moves through its pivotal moments he begins to deconstruct all that has led to his (and our own) coming undun."

The album plays seamlessly is solid from beginning to end. My favorite tracks are The Other Side, Lighthouse, Tip the Scale and Stomp.

The Roots - UNDUN from The Ghettonerd Company, LLC on Vimeo.