Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Roots: The Tipping Point [Geffen, 2004]
Foolhardy though it was to saddle such an uncrucial record with a title that dares the young and the restless to bitch about how it doesn't change the world, the rest of us are free to enjoy how confidently it develops a groove. Theme-setting Sly remake leads to varied confluences of democracy and Black Thought (try the hummed and mumbled hook of "Don't Say Nuthin'") that swing up at the end through two attention getters certain to dismay the restless--Timbabeats, how 2003! Then, to remind us they're a hip-hop band, there's a bonus cut for their sole virtuoso--which means ?uestlove, not Kamal. They understand what they can do, and what they can't. That's 2004 enough for me. A-