THE ROOTS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - JIM CAR­ROLL

…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin Def Jam ★★★

The day job as house band on Jimmy Fal­lon’s TV show has freed The Roots to take the cre­ative chances they’ve al­ways talked about. Their new al­bum, like the pre­vi­ous one (Un­dun), de­picts the ups and downs of char­ac­ters try­ing to scratch a liv­ing in an ur­ban pres­sure cooker of hard knocks and hope­less­ness. Such types are the norm in hip-hop lore, but as The Roots move away from the tra­di­tional rap land­scape, it’s in­ter­est­ing to see how they use these tropes to ad­dress a big­ger pic­ture. Mu­si­cally it’s also at odds with its sur­round­ings, full of arty in­stru­men­tals, far-out squig­gles, broody sound­scapes, elec­troa­cous­tic noise, gothy pianos and a bor­row­ing from Nina Si­mone’s 1959 Mid­dle of the Night. The Roots as we once knew them have left the build­ing, leav­ing be­hind a band well pre­pared to think and talk along com­plex lines. the­roots.com

Down­load: The Un­rav­el­ing, When the People Cheer

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