The Roots, The Tipping Point (2004)
A mate told me he had a copy of this on vinyl – he liked it, but didn’t think he’d be playing it all that often and did I want to take it off his hands? I did! I really did. And yet in this way of the world we can share a Facebook message most days but it takes a while to actually meet up. So, some months after that initial promise I finally have this as part of my record collection. I’m slowly collecting up everything by The Roots – to me they’re one of the most important bands of the last 25 years; one of the most influential musical forces. And this album is correctly named – for this is where they stop being any sort of “gimmick live hip-hop band” and move towards the sinewy funk with politically charged lyrics that has been the focus of their studio releases ever since. So this is the line drawn under the first decade or so of the band – in terms of its records. By the time The Tipping Point was out in the world I’d seen The Roots twice. It would be a few years before I’d get to see them again but this one is a sentimental favourite. Here they showed no need – no interest – in a runaway radio hit or an important guest-vocalist; previous releases had needed those, had thrived because of them. I’m not sure how conscious this was, but here they seemed to be dropping the casual fans, honing in on just what made them special – making a big statement in a very subtle way.
Sample Track: Guns Are Drawn
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown