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Roots Manuva / Awfully Deep
Album:Awfully Deep Collection:Hip-hop
Artist:Roots Manuva Added:05/2005
Label:Big Dada 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2005-07-18 Pull Date:2005-09-19 Charts:Hip-Hop
Week Ending:25 Sep18 Sep11 Sep4 Sep28 Aug21 Aug14 Aug7 Aug
Airplays:11121244

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Album Review
John Holgate
Reviewed 2005-07-13 
Roots Manuva - Awfully Deep

The reigning king of UK hip hop blasts back with another deep album. Roots' (Rodney Smith) trademark delivery is unmistakeable and ulterly cool. This album travels at a little slower pace than his first two LPs with deep basslines and dub-ish production (as usual, this UK hip hop has huge jamaican influences). After having basically invented grime (everyone concentrates on Dizzee Rascal, but listen to Roots' first two albums and
you see huge inspiration). Production on the album is super solid with lots of care paid to creating rich sonic layers. There is a lot of dub and trip hop in the sound, especially in the slightly paranoid, on-edge style of Tricky and Amon Tobin or similar artists. This album moves slightly away from his digital/computerized/techy sounds. Check the back for a complete list of FCCs!!! They are listed on the BACK! I found something good on every track, so try them all! Play 1,2,6,8 if you're stuck.

1)* Roots rolls over a rumbling bassline, they match up perfectly. It proceeds at a royal pace; Roots knows how badass he is. A cool echoed piano stab during the verse.
2)* Paranoid spacey synth chugs and laser bleeps, another solid flow. Hell yeah.
3) Solid hitting interlude with big ups for himself.
4) Odd intro leads into a warped, spaceage decending keyboard line. Roots comes in with a melancholy r'n'b style chorus.
5) Ominous, horrific/comic string section with big chorus. Talking about a man too attached to his money. Roots' accent is slightly less strong, and this might fit into some US hip hop scene, but that's not what I go to Roots for!
6)* Tense african drums and quiet, somber horns with Roots doing spoken word over top.
7) Club track, hitting hard. Roots rolls fast and smooth. Paranoid, edgy keyboard line. High-pitched female vox repeats during chorus.
8)* (FCC - "bitch" not mentioned on back) Sounds make me think of creaking merrie-go-rounds, snapping rubber bands, and wheezy machines, but all from some robotic spaceage future. "Chin high puff chest/I step right to it/the choice is there is no choice but to pursue it" chorus straight from Leftfield's 'Dusted'. Yes! (If they ripped it from someone else, please let me know! - John H.)
9) Murky, slightly hidden melody on keyboard. Head jerkin rhythm, a slightly "smoky" feel to this track.
10) Flat track with bass and drum and Roots moving slowly.
11) Dancehall bassline on this club track. Move your loin indeed.
12) A buzzy keyboard follows the sung melody during chorus. Light synth work. Very cool and detached.
13) Washes of strings, spacious and quiet. Rapping about the problems of life (reminds me a lot of atmosphere's 'scapegoat,' but not so list-like). Roots again sounds very American, even mentions baseball bats... NOT noted on back, but there are a few "bitch"s in this song!
14) Gurgly production and tip-toeing string lines. Slightly halloween-ish.

Track Listing
1.Mind 2 Motion 8.Chin High
2.Awefully Deep 9.Babylon Medicine
3.Cause 4 Pause 10.Pause 4 Pause
4.Colossal Insight 11.Move Ya Loin
5.Too Cold 12.Thinking
6.A Haunting 13.The Falling
7.Rebel Heart 14.Toothbrush