Come Alive

By Shawn Hoult

They are referred to as the hardest working band in hip-hop today and with the release of their first live album, it’s easy to see why.

On Come Alive, The Roots show a kind of energy usually reserved for stars of the rock and roll genre. The album opens with the intro to a concert by rap legend Grandmaster Flash, which plays almost as foreshadowing for the hip-hop milestone that follows. Vocalist Black Thought shows he is at the top of his game when in front of an audience–as do the musicians who blend every type of music imaginable into an unmistakably original brand of funk.

Making original music is almost obsolete in the sample-filled world of rap in the ’90s and the only down side to this album is that some of the song intros drag on too long. Although this gives a great live feel at first, it becomes annoying after a few listens. However, even with intros in excess of a minute, tracks like "You Got Me" and "The Next Movement" are reminiscent of why hip-hop’s founders like Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were so groundbreaking in the first place.

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