Undun - The Roots
Undun Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.4

Universal acclaim- based on 96 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jan 3, 2012
    100
    [An] excellent record that anyone who wants to hear the graceful way by which hip-hop should age should add to their collections right away.
  2. 100
    The Roots' 13th album may be their best.
  3. Dec 5, 2011
    90
    Musically, Undun flows easier and slower than any other Roots album.
  4. Dec 1, 2011
    80
    If any rap group could pull off a project this unwieldy, it's the Roots, and they make it seem effortless.
  5. Dec 20, 2011
    80
    If one can express disappointment in undun, it's that it sets out to tell a story and tells it well, but delivers a short story or a novella where fans of The Roots would have undoubtedly preferred a full length novel.
  6. 80
    All told, the story undun tells is sometimes chilling, often thrilling, and always illuminating.
  7. Dec 1, 2011
    60
    What it isn't--quite--is the magnum opus it could be. The second half loses impetus.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Dec 31, 2011
    10
    I'm usually not the kind of person to take the time to write a 'user review', since they usually end up being clearly biased, poorly worded fan-speak. But in this case, with this album, I feel like it's some sort of civic duty as a fan of music to spread the gospel of this album's perfection. I won't start an inflammatory discussion that this is possibly the best album of all time, in the sense that the usual definition of album is an unaffiliated collection of songs - I'm sure that most would give that distinction to myriad Beatles, Dylan, Radiohead, etc albums, and it's largely a matter of age and personal taste, anyway. What I WILL start the discussion of, is that this IS possibly the best "album" of all time - I use the quotes to stress a different definition of what an album is; in this definition, a cohesive collection of songs that are linked by a common lyrical or aesthetic genesis. I cringe at the label of "concept album", as that seems to invoke a knee-jerk assumption that the album is either about some science-fiction fantasy or that it's a directionless piece of instrumental junk that uses the "concept" moniker as a free pass to, well, suck. What The Roots have created is an album that tells a story in amazingly communicative detail, without beating you over the head that you're being told a story. Left to their own devices, the listener would probably have an 'aha!' moment somewhere about 20 listens into this album that the songs were in fact all connected, and in a linear [albeit backwards] fashion. This not only respects the intelligence of the listener to figure it out, it keeps the emphasis on the music where it belongs. They have created an album that bridges the gap between meaningful connection between the songs, and the ability for each song to be a successful, enjoyable single in its own right. You can rock each of these tracks out of order at a party and nod your head with the grooves for an hour, or you could listen to it in proper order in a classroom and have a 2-hour debate about fate, responsibility, and socio-economic politics. You need to own this album. As a collection of great hip-hop tracks, as a provocative story, or simply for its importance in keeping alive the hope that music can still mean something. Expand
  2. Dec 13, 2011
    10
    Easily the best hip hop album of the year, and possibly the best album of any genre for the year. This album is superbly done, and it is a must buy for anyone that likes music. Expand
  3. Feb 24, 2012
    10
    I wasnt a big Roots fan before this album. This album is a masterpiece. A classic that we'll be talking about for generations. The Roots made probably one of the best albums we've seen since Kanye's College Dropout". I dont think The Roots will make another album like this one. Its a unique album that cant br replicated Expand
  4. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    An instant classic, Undun is a severely underrated concept hip-hop record by The Roots. It is quite possibly The Roots' best album; every song works together, the beats almost ooze consciousness, every note is perfectly placed. Expand
  5. Feb 2, 2013
    9
    Undun is by far The Roots' most accessible record yet. each track stands alone in it's own creative piece of art. The lyrics tell an engrossing story and the chorus' are all fantastic. The beats are perfectly layered and the musicianship is great. All In All, Undun is a near-perfect album and essential hip-hop listening. A- Expand
  6. Dec 8, 2011
    9
    Great instrumentals, witty lyrics, and a powerful theme. Songs have brisk running times and are super easy to get into. This is my first Roots album, I don't listen to much hip-hop these days. Liked it, you will too. It's hard to pick a favorite, all of the songs work well, but listen to the single, "Tip the Scale," on Youtube for an idea of what to expect. Expand
  7. Dec 7, 2011
    6
    This album is alright for rap i dont get too much into rap but ost of the songs follow the same structure and the lyrics are all the same: tough times and cursing. That aside "Kool On" has some awesome music to it. Good bass line and funky guitar and the lyrics are good. The instrumentals def show a different side of the Roots. Violins and edgy and soft piano mixed with some crazy drum beats???? Awesome. Going from gangsta to classical music? Gotta give the Roots some prop, seems like they would be the only ones to get away with it. Collapse

See all 34 User Reviews

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