Undun - The Roots
Undun Image

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

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Universal acclaim- based on 112 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Jan 3, 2012
    [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
    Musically, Undun flows easier and slower than any other Roots album.
  4. Dec 1, 2011
    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
    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
    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: 36 out of 36
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 36
  3. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jan 14, 2012
    This album is a brilliant risk from the Roots - one of the most diverse musical groups of our time - reminding us that they should never be shrugged off as a late night tv band. If anything, it seems that working for Jimmy Fallon has given them even more inspiration and drive to create something new and different. Every single track on this record is catchy, groovy, and thought-provoking. Whether you simply want to groove, or whether you've been craving some hip hop with more depth than the norm, Undun has something for everyone. Easily a contender for best 2011 album, and not only was it released just in time for such an award, but it was released with perfect timing according to season, for something about Undun feels extremely appropriate for the cold winter months. I've written some more initial listening thoughts here: http://goingonrecord.blogspot.com/2012/01/undun-roots-2011.html Expand
  2. Dec 31, 2011
    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. Collapse
  3. Mar 8, 2013
    Will go down with the rest of The Roots' discography and Kendrick Lamar's hit good kid maad city as hip-hop classics. An everlasting testament to the fact that hip-hop can be meaningful in the deepest sense possible. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2011
    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
  5. Jan 4, 2013
    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
  6. Dec 7, 2011
    Not quite perfect, but darn close. This is an insanely good album overall, songs like "One Time", "The OtherSide", "Lighthouse", "Kool On", and "Tip the Scale" make this probably their best album yet. This is proof that taking risks can pay off. A must have album. Expand
  7. Dec 7, 2011
    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. Expand

See all 36 User Reviews

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