#100

July 2, 2010

The Roots – Game Theory
hip-hop
2006

Game Theory might be the most finely produced hip-hop album of the decade. The Roots play live musical instruments to back their emcees, rather than relying solely on sampling, giving each track an organic backdrop that shows variation and spontenaety beyond what many other hip-hop groups can ever manage. Combine this with the dense, claustrophobicThe Roots - Game Theory production and fine instrumental layering that’s present on each and every track, along with some logical sequencing and a crucial sense of brevity, and you get something truly special. The whole band have a really solid cohesion to their sound, with guitars, keys and turntables being firmly anchored around ?uestlove’s rock-solid percussion and Black Thought’s top-shelf delivery, with a generous helping of top-notch guest vocalists rounding out the package. Highlight tracks include opening salvo “False Media”, the Eastern-tinged “Take it There”, the soulful “Baby” and the exquisite centrepiece “Long Time”, which cements its place as the album’s highpoint with some sleekly dynamic basslines and some of the smoothest vocal-work on the album.

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