35.) The Roots - Undun
The Roots are so consistent. Each year it seems like they make a solid, enjoyable 7/10 album like its nothing at all. This year, just a couple of weeks ago in fact, they dropped something a bit more ambitious than their usual work. Undun is a concept album through and through, telling the story of a fictional urban everyman named Redford Stephens. I’m told that there is an iPad app that provides accompanying visuals, but the album is certainly good enough and the lyrics impactful enough that you don’t need visual help to understand these songs about Redford’s trials and struggles with an inner-city life that leads him to make a series of wrong decisions in his life. This is a familiar story, but one important enough to keep telling in new and different ways. You probably won’t realize it on first listen, at least not for a while into it, but this concept album is actually told in reverse. The album begins with the sound of a flatline and we come to learn that the album tells Redford’s story from death and then backwards to the beginning. The Roots found time between being Jimmy Fallon’s house band on Late Nite to put out their most ambitious and cohesive artistic statement yet and we’re all the better for it.
Originally Posted by Delano
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