Phrenology - The Roots

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    Phrenology is a celebration of self-determination, a nonstop joyride through some very complicated brains. [#12, p.149]
  2. 100
    The Roots have created another masterpiece. [Jan 2003, p.100]
  3. They've found it in their talent to put black music's long tradition of tune and structure into practice.
  4. With Phrenology, the cool Philly troupe remain head and shoulders above the rest by sticking to their well-defined course of smoky live beats, serious lyrics, stunning guests... and not one ounce of production from the Neptunes.
  5. Mainstream and casual fans will remember them best for Things Fall Apart, but probably only hardcore fans will be able to see the value and dedication that much of Phrenology holds.
  6. Phrenology is the hardest-hitting Roots album to date, partly because it's their most successful attempt to re-create their concert punch in the studio.
  7. By taking a new path with their music the Roots succeed in both staying relevant and momentous.
  8. The album combines a deep reverence for rap's visceral power with a desire to move the genre beyond its primordial synthesis of beats and rhymes.
  9. Phrenology reveals pulsating growth--a surprising bump on our skulls that some didn't feel before, while others banged their grapes wishing for it.
  10. Phenology is stunning, ranking right up there with the best hip-hop music of today.
  11. Not all of the experiments work, but drummer ?uestlove's Clyde Stubblefield-cum-Chemical Brothers grooves and rapper Black Thought's mighty flow never waver. [29 Nov 2002, p.106]
  12. Phrenology completely realizes The Roots' talents and potential, maintaining its cohesiveness despite its many disparate elements.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Apr 25, 2012
    This album made me fall in love with the live hip hop sensation that is the Roots. It starts a little slow, but the middle tracks (7-12) areThis album made me fall in love with the live hip hop sensation that is the Roots. It starts a little slow, but the middle tracks (7-12) are all worth listening to. Full Review »
  2. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    Just a great Hip/Hop record. From start to finish, it's an intoxicating, exhilarating album that gives you hope in Hip/Hops future.
  3. Mike
    Jan 1, 2006
    This could be my favorite hip-hop album ever.