Best known as the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” The Roots released their 13th album Dec. 6. The album is completely different from anything the Roots have done before, which makes for a short, but interesting, 38 minutes of music.
“Undun,” chronicles the story of Redford Stevens, a fictional character who seems to always be caught on the wrong side of the law. The story is told inversely, beginning with his death in the opening track, “The Un.” The album travels backwards through Stevens’ very troubled life, ending with his birth in the closing track, “Finality.”
The arrangements on the album are simply incredible. The Roots have once again outdone themselves by finding the best musicians around, including world-renowned pianist D.D. Jackson and indie artist Sufjan Stevens, crafting some of the best hip-hop music inlast few years.
Tracks that standout include “Make My” and “One Time,” with memorable guest verses from some of hip-hop’s best lyricists like Dice Raw and Phonte.
Overall, “Undun” is another example of how the Roots are one of the most creative and forward-thinking groups in the last few years and is surely a record to check out. If you want to hear the album live, catch the Roots when they perform at the Fillmore in Silver Spring Dec. 29 and 30.