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Artist: The Roots
Album: Things Fall Apart
Label: MCA
Production: The Grand Wizzards, Jay Dee, Chaos, Scott Storch, James Poyser
Stats: 1999; 18 Tracks @ 70mins:26secs
Reviewed by: Eitan Prince

Things Fall Apart? Well they seem to be holding together pretty tightly for the Roots right now. On this release, number four, the livest hip hop group brings us musical installments 54 through 71, and it would appear these fellas just don't know how to disappoint. The album itself is a continuation of their "illadelph" style, with an experimental touch - for instance "Step Into The Realm" sports a loop that fades and kicks back in to good effect, while Black Thought and Malik B complement each other nicely - attacking the mic intensely. There follows a series of collabo tracks with Dice Raw, Mos Def and Common which brings the album to a climax midway through.

While the lyrical content seldom varies, you can't help but appreciate the delivery. Black Thought also pulls off a surprise when he bares a rare personal sincerity in his lyrics on the radio track "You Got Me (featuring Erykah Badu)". Overall this is just good music as the Roots show off their flair and appetite for creativity. It contains the usual Roots "features" (? vs. Scratch 2, and the moving "Return to Innocence Lost" - Ursula Rucker's spoken-word piece). In the final analysis this album has moments where the music may have wider appeal, but the Roots still maintain their sense of responsibility to the art of Hip Hop: fresh, innovative, and dedicated.

STANDOUT TRACKS: Adrenaline!, Dynamite!, Step Into The Realm, Double Trouble, Act Too (The Love of My Life).

RECOMMENDED? Just buy it. You won't be disappointed. [8.5/10]

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