The only thing more impressive than The Roots’ impeccable musicianship and skilled songwriting is the band’s sheer output. Even while working on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Philly’s most beloved eight-piece finds the energy to record new material and play live shows.
The lead single off the upcoming concept album Undun consists of a sleek and silky groove, but proves to be quite the downer. Big K.R.I.T. guests on the first verse, detailing the unlikely depression of a certified baller who is accustomed to “Oceanfronts, rolling blunts with model chicks / And saying grace over lobster and steak.” Black Thought delivers a hard-to-swallow verse that includes a not-so-subtle allusion to a suicide attempt.
As ?uestlove’s aching beat cuts deeper with each clasp of the high hat, there’s no skirting the issue on lines like “To whoever it concern, my letter of resignation / Fading to black, my dark coronation.” Even though this sudden progression seems to escalate a bit too quickly than would seem logical, the rest of the album will likely fill in the remaining pieces of the puzzle.