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Phrenology (Explicit Version)

Phrenology (Explicit Version)

September 16, 2011

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 16, 2011
  • Release Date: September 16, 2011
  • Label: Geffen
  • Copyright: (C) 2008 Geffen Records
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:07:29
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B005OEOVF2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,933 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

The roots are expanding their music.
special K
I don't need to buy only bands who will "go down in time"; this is a great album: listenable, fun, worth the money.
Dutch Falls
The best song on the album wasn't even written by them (a remake of Cody Chesnutt's The Seed).
Justin Skiftenes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By roastbeefalo on February 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is in my opinion the best Roots album I own, and I have all of them except the live cd (by the way, you got to see these guys live- seeing ?uestlove on the drums is amazing). Each of their other albums gets 4/5 stars from me. I love good hip hop (Roots, Blackalicious, Common, GangStarr, Mos Def, Jurassic 5 etc) but I am almost always disappointed with the albums. They are either repetitive, use intro/outro/midtros that ruin the flow of the album or are cool for one listen, or they are not solid throughout. This album has none of those traits, and that is why I give it 5 stars. They do use an intro and a midtro, but it flows with the album. They mix up the songs and the beats like on all their albums, and do not get repetitive (be warned: in order to not get repetitive they include some rock songs and even a head banging song). And every song is at least 4/5 in my book. I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys hip hop, and to anyone who enjoys good music. These guys are really impressive; get all their albums to see what I am talking about.
If you like this try Common "Like Water For Chocolate" Mr. Lif "Emergency Rations" Mos Def/Talib Kweli "Black Star"& Blackalicious "Blazing Arrow" (which is the other 5 star album I own).
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M Darrow on May 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Here's the deal... I lament for the good ol' days just as much as the next man. Some times I'll pass by some kids who'll be bumpin some of the recent [garbage] and it saddens me to think that they don't know what they've missed. But I also know that a good deal of the problem is actually me. We can't replace the times that were - be it the sights, sounds, tastes or loves and that's not only a fact but it's a good thing. Something living on in memory is part of human experience and you can't convince me that our lives wouldn't be a little diminished if what was was for all time (if you can follow that). There's no way I could enjoy this album as much as "Do You Want More?" and I'm glad for it. But the fact of the matter is, this is a high quality set. There isn't any unlistenable music here. Yes... the shout out track and the noise at the end of Water are worth little more than the light aerobic exercise you'll get moving for the 'skip forward' button. And yes... I too was put off a bit by the relentless r&b vibe of Break You Off (though I've come to enjoy the song on it's on merits). Yes, the...er, 'cat' word is said a few too many times on track 11 (though isn't that kind of the point). And yes, any child could come up with a better refrain than shouting "We will rock you!" Nonetheless, all that "The Roots have changed and I don't like it" jazz needs to stop. I too have noticed that there's been a great decrease in the number of MCs that appear but the argument (made a couple here) that Black Thought can not carry the lyrical side of things by himself is baseless and perplexing. I've long thought that the man was underrated but after giving this a couple of twirls I've come to the conclusion that he's just one of the greatest to ever hold a mic.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gillian L. Rosheuvel on March 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Of the two albums I own by this band, this one is probably the most accessible. 1999's Things Fall Apart is what music fans would call a "grower". Harsh and cacophonous, it takes several listens before one can embrace that album as a whole. That doesn't mean Phrenology is an easy listen. The Roots still traffic in the themes of personal drama ("Water"), social commentary ("Pussy Galore"), sticky love affairs ("Break You Off"), and, of course, critiques of the hip-hop genre ("Rock You"). They also execute collaborations more seamlessly than any other hip-hop artist on the planet (yes, that includes Missy Elliot). On this album, guest spots by Nelly Furtado Talib Kweli, Cody ChesnuTT, Musiq, and Jill Scott never smack of "stunt casting", nor do they detract from the overall feel of the album. For example, Furtado's vocals merely accent the songs on which she appears-the bouncy "Sacrifice" and the aforementioned "Pussy Galore"-instead of overwhelming them. Musiq lends soulful, yet unassuming vocals to the percolating R&B of "Break You Off"; and Talib Kweli effortlessly adds his distinctive raps to "Rolling With Heat" and the rollicking hidden track. Mid-way through the album, Cody ChestnuTT teams with Black Thought on the stunning "Seed (2.0)", a breathtaking narrative of childbirth and legacy. Among the most impressive things about this album is the diversity of the songs: from the punk screech of "!!!!!" to the acid jazz leanings of "Quills", there's something here for everyone. Throughout, the defiant, confident spirit of the band remains in tact. They manage to sound tight and explosive all at once. They never waver from their unique musical vision, in the process, creating a propulsive, thoughtful album that resonates deeply long after its last note has played.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on January 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I'm not an exclusive rap fan, but I do like those rappers who take a serious approach to the musical and artistic sides of their sound, and are interested in taking their songwriting into new territory. The Roots succeed without a doubt on all those levels. Here we have great elements of rock, funk, and soul fully integrated into the Roots' intelligent hip hop sounds. They could be criticized for trying to latch on to the neo-soul movement, but that's a logical progression for these cats who are from the same town (Philly) as the neo-soulsters anyway. The best tracks here are the relentlessly funky "Thought @ Work" which features an incredible beat that sounds like an African Led Zep, plus the rock-oriented "Rolling With Heat" and "Rock You." There are some great cameo appearances like Jill Scott's in "Complexity" and outstanding vocals from Cody Chesnutt in "The Seed (2.0)." However some of the other big name cameos come out rather bland and under-utilized, like Musiq in "Break You Off" and Nelly Furtado in "Sacrifice." To prove that the Roots are true musical thinkers, check out the bizarre punk rock freakout "!!!!!!!" and the noise experimentation that makes up the second half of "Water," which really reminds me of fusion-era Miles Davis. This is a truly forward-thinking album from some very intelligent artists.
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