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click to enlarge The Roots  - Game Theory  -  -  - Def Jam  -  - The fact that The Roots are sampling Radiohead's "You - and Whose Army?" on Game Theory exemplifies - just how unique this Philadelphia-based act is in hip- - hop. Sure, anyone can sample anything, but - "Atonement," where this sample appears, is a - masterpiece of penance. The opening moments of the - title track explore a jazzy vibe before breaking into an - in-your-face anthem, with MC Malik B bringing it street- - style. Fans have come to realize The Roots are an - anomaly in the hip-hop world. They're best experienced - live, where drummer and bandleader ?uestlove keeps the - grooves real and hard. With this in mind, Game - Theory provides plenty of moments that invariably - will prove even more memorable in concert than on disc. -  John Benson
  • The Roots

    Game Theory

    Def Jam

    The fact that The Roots are sampling Radiohead's "You and Whose Army?" on Game Theory exemplifies just how unique this Philadelphia-based act is in hip- hop. Sure, anyone can sample anything, but "Atonement," where this sample appears, is a masterpiece of penance. The opening moments of the title track explore a jazzy vibe before breaking into an in-your-face anthem, with MC Malik B bringing it street- style. Fans have come to realize The Roots are an anomaly in the hip-hop world. They're best experienced live, where drummer and bandleader ?uestlove keeps the grooves real and hard. With this in mind, Game Theory provides plenty of moments that invariably will prove even more memorable in concert than on disc. John Benson

click to enlarge Junior Boys  - So this is Goodbye  -  -  - Domino / Release: Sept. 11  -  -  - The Junior Boys' 2004 Last Exit wasn't quite - right: With its breathy come-ons, caramel bass lines, and - two-step R&B, it sounded, at best, ingenuous for two - bearded white men. Now, having lost one of those men, - sole Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan has made So this is - Goodbye, about romance lost instead of found. It's - more reserved, and more suiting. He croons over - minimalist club vogue, lilting with dubbed drums, - dreamy keys, and plenty of blips 'n beeps, using the cold - detachment of machinery to accentuate his own. Drum - machines may not have souls, but they can certainly be - assets to them. Goodbye laments one or all - sullied relationships, both homaging the bitter beauty of - heartbreak and freeing Greenspan's personal demons. -  Matt Martin
  • Junior Boys

    So this is Goodbye

    Domino / Release: Sept. 11

    The Junior Boys' 2004 Last Exit wasn't quite right: With its breathy come-ons, caramel bass lines, and two-step R&B, it sounded, at best, ingenuous for two bearded white men. Now, having lost one of those men, sole Junior Boy Jeremy Greenspan has made So this is Goodbye, about romance lost instead of found. It's more reserved, and more suiting. He croons over minimalist club vogue, lilting with dubbed drums, dreamy keys, and plenty of blips 'n beeps, using the cold detachment of machinery to accentuate his own. Drum machines may not have souls, but they can certainly be assets to them. Goodbye laments one or all sullied relationships, both homaging the bitter beauty of heartbreak and freeing Greenspan's personal demons. Matt Martin

click to enlarge Primal Scream  - Riot City Blues  -  -  - Columbia  -  - The Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones - spirit has been channeled by many a band, but on Primal - Scream's latest effort Riot City Blues, the loose - rootsy rock vibe is successfully updated into a new - millennium milieu. Singer Bobby Gillespie even gives - Mick and Keith a wink on the album's lead song "Country - Girl," when he admits his motives by singing the - decidedly "Street Fighting Man" Stones lyrics, "What can a - poor boy do?" On "Nitty Gritty," the album's best track, - Gillespie belts, "Girl you gotta shake some action" like a - desperate pimp. The strength of the 10-track album is - the guitar, with solos deliciously crisp ("Suicide Sally & - Johnny Guitar") and subtly mesmerizing ("Little Death"). -  John Benson
  • Primal Scream

    Riot City Blues

    Columbia

    The Exile on Main Street-era Rolling Stones spirit has been channeled by many a band, but on Primal Scream's latest effort Riot City Blues, the loose rootsy rock vibe is successfully updated into a new millennium milieu. Singer Bobby Gillespie even gives Mick and Keith a wink on the album's lead song "Country Girl," when he admits his motives by singing the decidedly "Street Fighting Man" Stones lyrics, "What can a poor boy do?" On "Nitty Gritty," the album's best track, Gillespie belts, "Girl you gotta shake some action" like a desperate pimp. The strength of the 10-track album is the guitar, with solos deliciously crisp ("Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar") and subtly mesmerizing ("Little Death"). John Benson

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