Review Summary: Barack Obama approves of this message
"We wanted to make an album that spoke to the times in which we live... and this music feels so relevant right now. It's funky & frustrated, revolutionary and reflective, raw & righteous, spirited & spiritual. Oh yeah, and it's so very soulful." -John Legend. Well hot damn, John makes it sound like he's gonna bring back afros (what's up ?uestlove), bell bottoms, and anti-war folk songs. At least it certainly seems like he's gonna try. WAKE UP! is John Legends shot at bringing back the hippie movement of peace and love from the 1960s through music, 11 cover songs from that era to be precise, and one original track.
This is the hip-hop album you let your 10 year old daughter listen to. It's clean and friendly and full of good wholesome messages. There's nothing on here that's going to shock you or make you wish you had a couple twelve inch sub woofers before you popped this baby in. There are moments when the cheese factor may reach a level 8 out of 10, for instance in "Wake Up Everybody," there's a moment where you might think you'll start to hear Michael Jackson and other celebrity singers ask you for money to help the children, but don't worry, Michael Jackson really is dead (too soon?)
On the good side, Legend & The Roots cover of "Compared To What" is a pretty fun song. Fun in that holding-hands-and-singing-along-with-barney sorta fun. So if you voted for Barack Obama and you like 1960s soul and pop music, you're going to love this. I strongly urge you to buy this if you have to carpool a bunch of kids to school every day, because the musicianship is pretty good and the lyrics won't drive you crazy; but as far as John Legend and The Roots go, I think if they collaborated on an original album, good things could happen.