The Roots The Tipping Point

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Born from extensive jam sessions, The Tipping Point finds The Roots becoming drummer/liner note maestro Questlove's band. Opening with the languid Sly Stone tribute "Star," the band sands most of the edges off a coherent album that slides by perhaps a touch too easily. Scott Storch lends two lean, sparkling pop productions that contrast nicely with Quest's thicker and dirtier sounds (like dub-rock nugget "Guns Are Drawn"). Vocalist Black Thought sounds a bit disinterested outside of two ferocious back-to-back old-school jams, but as the photo of a young Malcolm on the cover implies, The Roots are still just getting started.