Do we still consider the Roots underappreciated? Eight albums deep, including this sophomore Def Jam disc, high-profile performances with Jay-Z, a global mini-cult loving their live shows: many artists fare much worse. All things considered, I swear they don't want to blow up bigger.
From their bizarre album covers to their perpetually impenetrable jazz cats' jam band attitude and the obtuse angles of their kinetic audio, they're always missing something on each album while having too much of something else. This time, the Mos Def/Common/Talib triumvirate contribution is expectedly solid. Saigon proves his debut's delay is criminal. Malik B shows how much he needs to be the permanent Prince Po to Thought's Pharoahe Monch. And Kamal, Hubbard and ?uestlove flesh out a series of sonically stunning numbers midway through. Maybe the title, Rising Down, subconsciously refers to their career trajectory. Just get a hot Jay-Z verse already, fellas.