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Thursday, October 21, 2021

CD review: John Legend and the Roots

Artist: John Legend and the Roots

Album: Wake Up!

Label: Columbia

Rating: 3

After releasing How I Got Over, The Roots return with R&B singer John Legend for Wake Up!, a collaborative effort and political comment on the rising empowerment in the African-American community.

The album, which was conceived amid Barack Obama’s presidential campaign of 2008, draws on the traditions and legacies of ’60s and ’70s soul, funk and reggae legends. This well-intentioned collection never surpasses the strong originals from which it draws and the same socially conscious messages speak powerfully today as it did 40 years before.

For all of their talent, the tandem did not evolve much of the classics in which they covered. In fact, at times the album sounded incongruous and pedantic though meant for a thought-provoking resurrection of a forgotten era.

Give these tracks a listen: “Compared to What,” “Our Generation”

For fans of: The Roots

– Karen D. Song

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