Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 100
    Following 2002's experimental Phrenology, which featured all manner of drum 'n' bass and techno influences, the real-instrument-playing Philadelphia hip-hop collective ditches the frills on Tipping Point.
  2. Foolhardy though it was to saddle such an uncrucial record with a title that dares the young and the restless to bitch about how it doesn't change the world, the rest of us are free to enjoy how confidently it develops a groove.
  3. An eclectic and often breezy reimagining of hip-hop's energetic essence. [16 Jul 2004, p.76]
  4. The Tipping Point has more soul, vision and musicianship than most bands muster in a lifetime. [31 Jul 2004, p.41]
  5. It's a smart, self-aware and consciously direct album.
  6. 80
    Opting for politically charged rhymes and melodic, accessible beats, [The Roots] overflow with potential singles. [Aug 2004, p.141]
  7. The Tipping Point may not boost The Roots' Soundscan numbers to a point commensurate with the acclaim and respect it commands, but the set marks another triumph from a group that seems incapable of producing anything less.
  8. Already heralded as Black Thought's coming out, TP finds the always-dependable MC stepping up his game with the hunger of a neglected thoroughbred.
  9. 75
    With Black Thought carrying the weight, the record buckles. [Aug 2004, p.101]
  10. Ultimately, The Tipping Point is an ironic title, given the fact that the Roots sound like a group recharging its batteries rather than triggering a momentous shift in how it approaches its music and the world at large.
  11. What the album lacks in ambition and social commentary it makes up for with deep soul.
  12. In terms of their own oeuvre, it's certainly a solid addition, even if it suffers from the molting pain that comes from incorporating music that's so stylistically against their own grain.
  13. 64
    Avant-garde impenetrability has been passed over for hallmark accessibility. [#11, p.92]
  14. As a listening experience, The Tipping Point is a decent album, a rough transition at best and a stumble at worst.
  15. Despite their reputation for distinctiveness parts of 'The Tipping Point' feel distinctly under par by the Roots own high standards suggesting that the departures of MC Malik B (Slacks) and human beatboxers Scratch and Rahzel have, in some ways, led to a successive narrowing down of the range of the Roots' previously loose and eclectic sound.
  16. 60
    This time, the division between uninspired, joyless Gang Starr pastiches like Don't Say Nuthin and the polymorphous likes of Stay Cool or Outro has never sounded so glaringly obvious. [Aug 2004, p.92]
  17. 60
    It's hard to shake the feeling that this is a collection of dope beats in search of some rhymes. [Aug 2004, p.134]
  18. Hardcore fans will probably be disappointed with the amount of rhythmic experimentation which, the messy breaks of Boom aside, is pretty much lacking. [Aug 2004, p.113]
  19. The downside to The Tipping Point's chameleonic variety is that the Roots too rarely sound like themselves, or even like a collective. [5 Aug 2004, p.108]
  20. Its majority carelessly regurgitates the painful cliches of "enlightened" hip-hop's critical and commercial darlings, while the band falls back on their organic hip-hop sound as a gimmick and piles on guest appearances to disguise their lack of creativity.
  21. The Roots have always been more about the music than the lyrics, but "Tipping Point" excels at neither. [11 Jul 2004]
  22. For a group who can be so compelling when they aim high and fall short, an effort so squarely average is all the more disappointing.
  23. The vast majority of the new Roots album lacks what has made their earlier albums so exciting: spontaneity, originality, musical chops, and a sense of purpose.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. PabloG.
    Apr 26, 2008
    Easily their worst album. But seeing that it's a 5/10 and not a 0/10, that shows you how good they are even when they're bad. While the previous album Phrenology was very Outkast/Beatles-like in their experimentation(and how they succeeded in it), this album regresses. It's just a pop-album with a few good songs. Luckily for The Roots, their last two albums after this one have been very, very good and continue to push hip-hop instead of what this album did: nothing. Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2012
    When i heard undun i became a huge Roots fan. But when i heard this album i was a little disappointed with the work on this album. This album doesnt have the caliber that would match with any of The Roots albums or any other album for a matter of fact. Thank God I listened to Undun before The Tipping Point Or i would have never of had listened to the Roots. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Sep 28, 2011
    Just an average score here for the Hip-Hop kings. A pretty big disappointment considering (the classics, 10/10's) Phrenology and Things Fall apart came before this. Full Review »