Rising Down

Studio Album by released in 2008
Rising Down's tracklist:
The Pow Wow
Rising Down (feat. Mos Def & Styles P)
Get Busy (feat. Dice Raw & Peedi Peedi)
75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)
Becoming Unwritten
Criminal (feat. Truck North & Saigon)
I Will Not Apologize (feat. Porn & Dice Raw)
I Can't Help It (feat. Malik B., Porn, Mercedes Martinez & Dice Raw)
Singing Man (feat. Porn, Truck North & Dice Raw)
Unwritten (feat. Mercedes Martinez)
Lost Desire (feat. Malik B. & Talib Kweli)
The Show (feat. Common & Dice Raw)
Rising Up (feat. Wale & Chrisette Michele)
Birthday Girl
The Pow Wow 2

Rising Down review

The Roots’ new album is connected with its predecessor

It is already over a decade that the Philadelphia-based band of talented musicians The Roots has been giving its unforgettable hip hop hits to the world and each time it manages to raise the most topical questions. The music of the collective has been always remarkable for faultless arrangements, multilayered instrumental background and an exemplary production. Its last album, 2006’s Game Theory has defined a new direction in the band’s creative work: it has submerged into a dark atmosphere, expressing a deep concern about the world situation and drawn our attention to many social problems. Evidently these topics have proved to be inexhaustible for this year The Roots releases a kind of continuation of Game Theory, a record unusually titled Rising Down which has been probably taken from a book on social problems written by William T. Vollman in 2004. The new album is also connected with its predecessor because the same guest stars have taken part in its recording once again, those including Peedi Peedi, Malik B., Dice Raw, Porn and Mercedes Martinez.

Penetrating and demanding one’s full attention tracks on Rising Down

Rising Down is The Roots’ second album on label Def Jam and the eighth studio album in the band’s discography. Not willing to reconcile with the fact that most of people do not think about the future mc Black Thought is persistent making arguments on the record that call the listener to make a pause and begin to realize one’s actions. Tracks that are even more complicated than before are based on contrasts which make their sounding especially penetrating and demanding one’s full attention. The record opens with quite an unusual introduction The Pow Wow presenting a tense telephone conversation between Black Thought, producer ?uestlove and a manager showcasing the confrontation of their views on creative work and how difficult it is to create an album. The first track Rising Down featuring Mos Def and Styles P is a tough composition with the maximum of mankind’s problems concentrated in its lyrics, from global warming to unemployment, and song Get Busy performed with Dice Raw and Peedi Peedi is remarkable for the most breathtaking accompaniment with melodious synthesizers and amazing drums. One of the highlights is 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction) being an example of a pure raged rap against the background of monotonous drums and a repeating tune, while composition Criminal featuring Truck North and Saigon pleases with a beautiful catchy chorus. Porn and Dice Raw join the team on song I Will Not Apologize built on a simple arrangement and track I Can't Help It featuring Malik B., Porn, Mercedes Martinez and Dice Raw is again filled with most pessimistic lyrics. Another tough composition Lost Desire featuring Malik B. and Talib Kweli is softened only by a more or less melodious chorus and the only joyful track on the album is Birthday Girl, but even here some trick and dishonesty are felt.

All unserious themes left in the past

Expectedly despite its darkness and a suppressed mood Rising Down has proved to be a great hip hop record with a production and performance at a highest level. The structure of the album is a classic alternation of tracks and interludes each of the latter being written in the same key as teh whole album. The final bonus track is especially illustrative in this respect being an emotional monologue about a hard life. The Roots definitely has done its best to influence upon the listeners and each song pursues the goal in this or that way. Yet if one takes a more careful look on the track list one can see that there is a hope of salvation: the record starts with song Rising Down and at the end there sounds track Rising Up. According to ?uestlove it make the album complete, and at the same time it makes clear that not everything is yet lost although we should not flatter ourselves too much. Thus The Roots has left all unserious themes in the past and taken the topical issues fundamentally and album Rising Down will not let one forget about the important at least until the unique band’s next creation is released.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (08.05.2008)
Rate review4.60
Total votes - 43

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