Phrenology - The Roots
Phrenology Image
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 48 Ratings

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  • Summary: The groundbreaking Philadelphia rap outfit returns with 13 new tracks and guest contributions from Jill Scott, Nelly Furtado, Talib Kweli and Musiq.
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Phrenology completely realizes The Roots' talents and potential, maintaining its cohesiveness despite its many disparate elements.
  5. It is their way with a collaborator, though, that sets them apart. [Feb 2003, p.97]
  6. What is different about the overall feel of this messy and ambitious album is that it marks The Roots' liberation from genre, the neo-soul meanderings of 'Things Fall Apart' only appear when they're wanted and never outstay their welcome.
  7. In their quest for paper, The Roots have lost their way.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Nick
    Nov 27, 2002
    10
    It may take a little getting used too for some, but this one will be looked back on as groundbreaking.
  2. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    10
    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. ArthurM
    Dec 5, 2002
    10
    the roots do it every time, i just wish they didnt wait so long to let the real shit out...i was getting tired of that bling bling bullshit.
  4. MikeH
    Oct 28, 2003
    10
    Gotta give it up to their bold reach in breaking from their own unique mold... it works. The whole cd continues to metamorph into an instant Gotta give it up to their bold reach in breaking from their own unique mold... it works. The whole cd continues to metamorph into an instant classic. Water, P**** galore, etc. continue to hit hard lyrically. Expand
  5. FreesiaA
    May 18, 2005
    10
    Increible album, lyrics are hot, political, moving, beats are old skool which is jus straight smart! back up vocals are so nice...smooth Increible album, lyrics are hot, political, moving, beats are old skool which is jus straight smart! back up vocals are so nice...smooth album, one of the best in this day and age of garbage Collapse
  6. dirkt
    Feb 13, 2005
    9
    the best album I heard in a long time.very fresh, energizing,after umpteenth time listening it can still surprise me. a masterpiece.
  7. Apr 25, 2012
    6
    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. Expand

See all 30 User Reviews