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Favourite Album of 2010: John Legend and The Root’s – ‘Wake Up!’

2 Feb

"...‘Wake Up’ is a talent infused social, political and most importantly, musical awakening!"

John Legend & The Roots – ‘Wake Up!’

(Good Music/Sony)

To any of my fellow soul lovers out there let me first and foremost congratulate you on your good taste, bravo I say, bravo!  So, that’s the pleasantries out of the way now let’s get down to the funky music!  Early last year, John Legend & The Roots were left alone in a recording studio, some months later the product of their mutual love was born and delivered straight onto our shelves. They named it ‘Wake Up!’ This 12 tracked masterpiece is John and Root’s take on various tracks from the 60’s and 70’s, all with underlying themes of political activism and awareness… BUT that’s just a bonus.  For us, the most dominant theme, the one that’s really worth writing home (or indeed, a review) about, is one of undisputed talent!

John Legend’s expressive soulful vocal range is normally show cased with just the backup of a piano, now it takes on the jazzy funk sound that is The Root’s and still inspires a spine tingle…or six. The Root’s, although renowned simply as a live hip-hop band take this opportunity to explore the outer reaches off their sound and leave us with an explosive blend of rap, jazz and funk!

All twelve tracks covered were originally written by noted soul musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone and Donny Hathaway. Their purpose was to question the then highly questionable American status quo. Some got the credit they deserved, other’s didn’t. John and Root’s combine their talents and revitalize each and every one these tracks, giving the platform they should have had the first time around.

‘Wake Up’ is a talent infused social, political and most importantly, musical awakening! So, as ‘Ronseal’ would say “It does exactly what it say’s on the tin!” Enjoy!