The Roots enlist Joanna Newsom, John Legend, Jim James for new album

Roots-Joanna-NewsomImage Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images;Annabel MehranHere’s your random yet awesome music news of the day: A rep for the Roots confirms exclusively to the Music Mix that Joanna Newsom, John Legend, and My Morning Jacket/Monsters of Folk’s Jim James will all appear on the Roots’ upcoming album How I Got Over.

It’s been ten months since the Roots debuted that album’s excellent title track on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and the rest of the record has yet to appear. That’s okay — we fans are willing to wait, and we all know the Roots are busy with their day late night job. Still, the delay has made me, for one, desperate for any new information about How I Got Over. Last night, Roots drummer ?uestlove dropped just such a tantalizing crumb on Twitter: “yes indeed we are working hard on #HOWIGOTOVER (first look) mixing the Joanna Newsome Jawn.” Could that possibly mean what I thought it meant? Yep! Now we know it’s true: The brilliant indie harpist and the baddest hip-hop band in the land will be together on wax at last.

This combination is as cool as it is unexpected. Just imagine the possibilities: Newsom could sing a hook like no other, sure. Or she could pluck out a counter-melody to Captain Kirk’s guitar and Tuba Gooding Jr.’s Sousaphone on her harp. Or maybe, just maybe, she could get a verse to herself, or trade lines with Black Thought “Double Trouble”-style. After all, Newsom’s complex rhyme schemes often feel closer to hip-hop than anything in typical indie rock. (UPDATE: The Roots’ camp clarifies that the song in question samples one of Newsom’s old songs — from this in-studio teaser clip ?uesto just posted, it sounds like 2004’s “The Book of Right-On” — but that Newsom has also recorded new vocal over-dubs for this track.)

The Roots’ rep adds that John Legend and Jim James have recently recorded parts for How I Got Over, as well. That lineup is shaping up nicely, huh? While the album has yet to receive a firm release date, the rep says Black Thought is currently finishing recording his vocals. Let’s hope we get to hear the product of all this collaboration sooner rather than later.

Anyone else psyched to hear what what the Roots and Joanna Newsom cook up together? Which of these collabs are you most looking forward to?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (1 total) Add your comment
  • Mayra

    Full review here. Excerpt: A Joanna Newsom album has never uonsded as good as she did when she played at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last Thursday. Even the most middling of fans, the most ardent of critics, could not possibly have walked away unswayed by the remarkable skill and charm she emanated throughout the evening.

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