eMusic Review 0
Following 2002's marginally-optimistic The Tipping Point, a record wrongly derided as a sellout because of sleek first single "Don't Say Nothin'," Game Theory found the Roots doubling down on unrest and political skepticism. Game Theory is the first in a pair of phenomenal, paranoid records in which the Roots transform their ire over their commercial misfortunes into acrid polemics against stasis in national culture and the still-looming spectre of racism. "America's lost somewhere inside of Littleton," goes the hook to the ominous "False Media," "11 million children — all on Ritalin." It doesn't get much brighter from there. "It Don't Feel Right" may have a slithery R&B hook, but the lyrics to that hook are "It don't feel right, it don't feel right." This is furrowed-brow music — a firebrand corrective in a year when a chart-topping hip-hop single just went, "Shake that Laffy Taffy. Shake that Laffy Taffy. Girl, shake that Laffy Taffy."
This kind of thing could get tiresome quickly, but the Roots know how to construct the kind of nuanced music such bludgeoning lyrics require. "Here I Come" sounds like some Satanic rave, zooming synthesizers slathered across a heart attack drum track and weird, spastic sitar; "Clock With… read more »