Album: The Roots, Undun (Mercury)
The Roots' 13th album may be their
Inspired by a Sufjan Stevens track from Greetings From Michigan, it's a concept album about the downfall of a young man, Redford Stevens, told backwards from the point of his death - thus avoiding both the sense of inevitability and the tragic bravado found in comparable hip-hop tragedies. Instead, it offers opportunities for more considered reflection on the values we choose in life, from the viewpoint of someone on the journey "from a man to a memory", trying to "leave with a little bit of dignity". Musically, it's a watery, wavery process of twinkling electric piano, echoey organ vibrations and scudding R&B grooves, leading to a four-part movement expansion of Sufjan's "Redford", his original piano progression followed by two further passages of sombre piano and strings, sandwiching a free-jazz maelstrom interpretation. The moral? "You either done doin' crime, or you done in".
Download this: Sleep; Make My; The Other Side; I Remember; Redford
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Akram Khan: Choreographer says dance is 'as important as maths and being a doctor'
Idris Elba responds to comments he's 'too street' to play James Bond as 007 author apologises for controversial comment
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up