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Phrenology [Explicit Lyrics]

The RootsAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)

Price: $10.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon's The Roots Store


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Image of The Roots


From Philly street corner buskers to hip-hop pioneers to perpetually touring live act to late-night television house band, legendary hip-hop group The Roots have never been one to rest on their laurels. After more than 15 years, the critically acclaimed, award-winning band continues to reinvent themselves and remains one of music’s most enduring and forward-thinking groups.

Since ... Read more in Amazon's The Roots Store

Visit Amazon's The Roots Store
for 56 albums, 10 photos, discussions, and more.

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Phrenology + Things Fall Apart + Illadelph Halflife
Price for all three: $27.48

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Mca
  • ASIN: B00007B9DP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,805 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Phrentrow
2. Rock You
3. Sacrifice (feat. Nelly Furtado)
4. Rolling With Heat (feat. Talib Kweli)
5. WAOK Roll Call
6. Thought At Work
7. The Seed 2.0 (feat. Cody Chestnutt)
8. Break You Off (feat. Musiq)
9. Water
10. Quills
11. Pussy Galore
12. Complexity (feat. Jill Scott)
13. Something In The Way Of Things [In Town] (feat. Amiri Baraka)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2003 album feat. Alicia Keys, Cody Chesnutt, Jill Scott & others

If you were wondering what the heck phrenology means, the Roots wouldn't have it any other way. Hip-hop's hardest-working live band continues where they left off with Things Fall Apart, forcing listeners to think outside of the Hot 97 FM box--or just plain think. On "Thought at Work," lead emcee Black Thought--the most criminally underrated wordsmith of his time--weaves captivating flows over a neck-snapping break beat, while on "Water" he boldly addresses the controversy surrounding his partner-in-rhyme Malik B's alleged substance abuse. While collaborations with Nelly Furtado ("Sacrifice") and Talib Kweli ("Rhymes and Ammo") read much better on paper than they sound, the catchy, up-tempo call-and-response routine utilized by the crew on the latter song will amp up Roots nonbelievers. As a bonus, Jill Scott's dreamy falsetto refrain hammers home some finer points about love on "Complexity." --Dalton Higgins

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 of 2 5 star hip hop albums I own 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Again 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,, '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
4.0 out of 5 stars Roots Rock 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Rap the Future 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
Published 3 months ago by Marcos V. Migon
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great mix of rap with live instrumentation
This is a great mix of rap with live instrumentation. It transcends being classified into a specific genre. It is like a mix of rap, jazz r&b and on some tracks blues. Read more
Published 3 months ago by paul nettleford
5.0 out of 5 stars This album wins in all categories.
This album is complete.I miss this type hip hop,awesome lyrics, beats with songs that matter (teaching) you something other than drugs, guns, and killing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good older album
I mostly got this album because my disc version got scratched real bad. I wasn't able to rip it, so I just bought it again.
Published 6 months ago by LBKewee
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
really awesome album altogether the songs are meaningful and deep just like the artists themselves overall really like it and even love it
Published 12 months ago by Ivan Djambazov
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album!
I love the Roots and am happy to be able to add this album to my collection. And, as a Philadelphian I'm proud to have them represent my town and keep hip-hop going for years to... Read more
Published 17 months ago by fareed
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
If you like the roots you will like this album. I had never heard before but I really like and recommend.
Published 21 months ago by pinbwiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Complete
I've bought this album like three times it something for every listener R&B, old school hip hop, little rock you name it
Published on July 11, 2012 by massey313
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Hip-Hop group
My introduction to The Roots. This is the album that made me purchase all the others, before and after it. My favorite: The Seed, The perfect combination of Hip-Hop and Rock.
Published on August 14, 2011 by Tijey
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is awesome!
This is by far my favorite Roots album. I had to purchase this after I left my other last CD in a rental car. Read more
Published on February 21, 2011 by Pinkness3
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Topic From this Discussion
Punchline Rap
i'd look up wordsworth or mad skillz, sometimes just know as skillz. both these guys made their whole career off punchline rap
Feb 17, 2009 by M. hoffman |  See all 2 posts
Track 3 - !!!!!!! Be the first to reply
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