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Things Fall Apart Vinyl 2LP

GeffenSKU hh-5514

1999 masterpiece ft. 'You Got Me,' 'The Next Movement,' 'Dynamite'
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  • Lab Overview
  • 🔊Tracklist
  • Review & Q+A
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Lab Overview

Hands down, Things Fall Apart is the finest album The Roots have put together. It's not nearly as ambitious as Phrenology, or as electric as the first time you heard Doyouwantmore?, but cut for cut Things Fall Apart comes closest to realizing their vision as a group. It doesn't hurt that it boasts the Erykah Badu collabo, "You Got Me," which did for The Roots what "Killing Me Softly" did for The Fugees. However, we get far more than just one solid crossover hit here. For one, Things Fall Apart is a marvel of sequencing, a skill that not enough rappers learn to master. The record jumps straight out the box by beginning with the old school, jazzy breakbeat science of "Table of Contents, Parts 1 & 2," "The Next Movement" continues the slightly organic feel, mid-tempo flows of Illadelph Halflife, and that vibe continues onto "The Spark," where Dice Raw gets his. Then once you touch "Dynamite," a slinky jazz guitar beauty, the album starts to build its momentum. They hit s*%t off lovely on the very next song, "Without a Doubt," nodding to Schooly D's Philly classic "Saturday Night" long before the Young Gunnaz did. "Ain't Sayin' Nothin' New" throws down more sultry soulfulness only to be followed by the Mos Def/Black Thought pairing of "Double Trouble," rocking the kalimbas for real. This run hits its apogee with Common collab "Act Too (Love of My Life)," arguably one of the most beautifullest odes to hip-hop ever. Super-duper mellow, especially compared to the 300 watt heat that preceded it, but "Act Too" offers the perfect cool-down hiatus that you need to refresh. There's still another half dozen or so songs that follow, including "You Got Me," "Adrenaline," and "Don't See Us," but that middle run is the heart of the album and what makes Things Fall Apart such a masterful example of music-making. If you only ever buy one Roots album what you waiting for?

  • black double vinyl pressing
  • includes printed insert
  • original release year: 1999
  • music label: Geffen 2013
reviewed by O-Dub 01/2006
UPC: 008811194819


Review & Q+A


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