How I Got Over is the much anticipated new album from the Roots (their 9th studio album and 3rd for Def Jam if you're keeping score). The album finds the Grammy-winning Philly hip-hop band (which is now the in-house band for Jimmy Fallon) in top form with a sound that has firm roots (no pun intended) in their past without being afraid to evolve and keep things fresh. Tracks like "Dear God 2.0" and "Right On" show a new side to the Roots - sampling big indie rock tunes to expanding the scope of their sound, while "The Fire" (with John Legend) and "Doin' It Again" use the tried and true hip-hop + soul formula they've come to master over the years. As a whole, the album has a great flow to it that will please old and new fans alike, featuring some of their best material in years with other highlights including "Radio Daze" with Blu, "Now Or Never" with Phonte & Dice Raw, "How I Got Over" and "Tunnel Vision." In the band's own words, the album is "depicting the everyman's search for hope in this dispiriting post-hope zeitgeist." Considering the contemplative mood and feeling of struggle throughout the album, I'll buy that. 14 tracks total, recommended.
- music label: Def Jam / 2010