It's a grower this one. The first single taken from 'Phrenology' seems to twist the kind of lazy fat rock groove used by The Fun Lovin' Criminals in 'Scooby Snacks' with a melancholy blues, ending up feeling like a 2003 take on Marvin Gaye's 'Heard It Through The Grapevine'. Anchored by Black Thought's hard rhymes and guest vocalist Cody ChesnuTT's plaintive soul singing, The Roots have eschewed the dry contemporary jazzy sounds they usually use, and managed to combine all the modernism of hip hop with the more 'live' sounds of old soul and R&B records, and far from sounding retro, it sounds really fresh.
The Roots didn't expect US 'Black' radio stations to play this single, because it's so blatantly 'guitar' music (US radio is usually THAT petty), however, thankfully it has got plenty of airplay, and it makes me wonder if there is change in the air... I know that NER*D have gone over to using a live band in the studio and live... and it would be SO cool to have the vocal and instrumental artistry of Motown and Atlantic Soul finally linked to the DIY chaos of hip hop. I hope this single is massive, because it's leading us in a great direction. More of this please!!!
8Chris Nettleton's Score