#9 Phrenology (2002) - The Roots
Still waiting for the great Roots album? The signature effort that defines their careers and solidifies their legacy? Clearly you missed “Phrenology”. If The Roots had disappeared after “Phrenology”, I’d still count Black Thought, Questlove and the crew among my favorite all time groups. “Things Fall Apart” and “Do You Want More” may have had more highlights, but none of their previous albums were as consistently excellent. “Phrenology” achieved a harmonious blend of divergent influences. There was the rock tinged “Rock You” and “The Seed 2.0”, the butter smooth R&B flavors of “Sacrifice” and “Break You Off” and the straight-up break beats and battle rhymes of “Rolling With Heat” and “Thought At Work”. If you’re a fan of hip hop or appreciate the precision of seasoned musicians and superb vocalists regardless of genre, then it’s a good bet that Phrenology had something for you to love.