Singer/songwriter JOHN LEGEND returns on October 18th with ‘Wake Up,’ a sterling collaboration with the neo-soul/hip-hop group, THE ROOTS. The 12-track set, with its emphasis on socially conscious material, features contemporary reworkings of some of soul music’s classic songs from the ’60s and ’70s. Kicking off with an impassioned revamp of ‘Hard Times’ – originally cut by Baby Huey & The Babysitters – the set includes fresh versions of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ ‘Wake Up Everybody,’ Les McCann’s Gene McDaniels-penned ‘Compared To What,’ Marvin Gaye’s ‘Wholy Holy,’ Donny Hathaway’s ‘Little Ghetto Boy,’ Bill Withers’ ‘I Can’t Write Left Handed,’ and the Nina Simone-associated ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free.’ The album’s final cut is a new version of Legend’s own ‘Shine.’
Here at SJF we’ve had a sneak preview of the album and can confirm that it’s a deeply soulful concoction that’s sure to be at the top of 2010’s Best Album lists.
Look out for a full review of the album soon at SJF.