Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

John Legend and The Roots

John Legend has teamed up with The Roots to release the album “Wake Up!” which is for the most part, a collection of cover versions of tracks from soul music’s most heavily politicised era.

These are songs of protest, angst and inspiration, soaked in the argot of the civil rights movement, and written as the optimism of the 1960s gave way to the 70s of Vietnam, Watergate and racial tensions of a subtly different kind.

Every track sounds as if it could have been written last week: from the Curtis Mayfield penned Hard Times, about lives lived on the margins of solvency in a cold-shoulder America, to I Can’t Write Left-Handed, Bill Withers’s tale of a disabled veteran returning home after a distant war.

Until now Legend has been best known for his pop-soul chart hit  “Ordinary People”.

Tthe Roots meanwhile have had a  “day job”  as house band on the NBC TV show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. So people may be surprised to hear them collaborating on a track as angrily political as Mike James Kirkland’s 1972 track Hang On In There, with its repeated refrain of: “This is my country – you can’t make me leave/ You can’t make me love the way you treat me.”

Somewhat ironically the “title” track of the album is NOT their respected cover of the Arcade Fire song of the same name but is in spirit the track “Wake Up Everybody”.

To buy the album click HERE

Bonus Track:-

“Wake Up” (Arcade Fire Cover) – John Legend and The Roots

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Cover Stories, New Music, R&B, Soul, Video | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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