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FutureStarrJohn Legend and the Roots Wake Up
John Legend and The Roots Wake Up is an inspiring, soulful record that offers hope in the face of real world troubles. The 11 songs on the album address topics such as education, healthcare, and environmental concerns.
A captivating crooner and passionate band pay homage to soulful protest music from the 1960s and '70s, featuring guest appearances by Black Thought, CL Smooth, Common, and Melanie Fiona. Wake Up! is sure to please audiences everywhere.
John Legend and the roots wake up is an album filled with nostalgic music from years gone by. There are a number of wonderful covers on this record that transport you back in time, such as Bill Withers' "I Can't Write Left Handed" or Baby Huey & the babysitters' "Hard Times". Each song gets its due attention here; you can feel its true meaning behind each one.
The Roots are a group of rappers that often rely on their MC Black Thought's fluid rhymes to differentiate themselves from the competition, yet they manage to retain their identity without him. Their talented drummer also creates various rhythms throughout this album, making for an enjoyable listen regardless of who sings the lead on any particular track.
What sets this album apart is the thoughtful selection of songs that are incredibly relevant. The underlying message of these songs urges us to "wake up" and acknowledge we are living in challenging times. This message should be heard by everyone; if it does, then it can help us navigate these difficult times and come out on top.
Though The Roots have created an excellent album, there are a few things that could have been done better. For one, the lyrical content could have been improved; lyrics sometimes seemed too serious for songs and they could've used some funky rhythms like The Roots are known for to enhance those words and add to the overall quality of the recording.
There are a few things I wish the album had done differently, like including more original songs to help it stand out from all of the covers. Despite these shortcomings, this is still an amazing collection of tracks.
John Legend and The Roots Wake Up is a collaboration between legendary singer/songwriter John Legend and The Roots. Together, they reimagine classic soul anthems of both past and present with guest appearances from Black Thought, CL Smooth, Common, and Melanie Fiona.
Legend and The Roots take us on an incredible journey into the history of African-American protest anthems with this album, covering material from the 1960s and '70s that are rarely heard today. Not only does this provide listeners with classic songs not often heard, but it also addresses current issues.
The selection of songs was thoughtfully chosen and each is filled with meaning and emotion. The musicianship is impeccable, while guest spots are tastefully placed for added enjoyment. Overall, this album will have you dancing along to each tune!
If you're a fan of soul music, this album will surely be an instant classic. The cover selection is hauntingly relevant and Legend's voice is strong and compelling.
Though not as captivating as some of The Roots' other albums, this one is still worth checking out if you enjoy lots of horns, drums and vocals. The band's tight playing allows them to serve the songs and their messages without detracting from what matters most: harmony.
This album suffers from taking itself too seriously and fails to maximize its potential. This is most evident on Bill Withers' "I Can't Write Left Handed," which attempts to bring the Vietnam story into contemporary times but ends up being an 11-minute marathon.
This album sounds more like it was recorded during an anti-war march or Civil Rights movement than anything else, and it moves along at a rather leisurely pace.
The Roots have a great sense of rhythm, and Legend is an impressive singer/keyboardist. His vocals are powerful yet not overdone; the horns also sound fantastic, while bassist Todd Greene provides solid drumming.
The Roots and John Legend have joined forces to release an album of soul covers that pays a stirring homage to socially aware music. Inspired by the 2008 presidential campaign and an atmosphere unfavorable to R&B music in 2008, The Roots and Legend draw inspiration from a long line of activist songs from the 1960s and 70s.
Wake Up! is an eclectic blend of classic and contemporary tracks, but it does a remarkable job of capturing the spirit of protest songs from when they were still relevant. While not perfect, Wake Up! manages to capture some great memories.
For instance, "Wake Up Everybody," a 1976 number one R&B hit by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, gets an extra dose of energy thanks to The Roots' smooth hip-hop groove and Legend's fiery vocals. Additionally, The band injects extra vigor into "Hard Times," originally written by Baby Huey and the Babysitters, with tension-filled bass lines and disarming horns that perfectly frame Legend's poetic passages.
Another highlight is Bill Withers' anti-war manifesto "I Can't Write Left Handed," which The Roots and Legend transform into an 11-minute epic. The lyrics remain timeless yet with a contemporary perspective on wartime atrocities.
Ultimately, the album is a triumph, demonstrating that Legend and The Roots can collaborate to create an inspiring collection of music. It serves as proof that art still has power to influence people even during these trying times.
The Roots have achieved remarkable success with the help of musicians like Black Thought, CL Smooth, Common and Melanie Fiona to create an album that is both captivating and uplifted. This blend of modern R&B styles and soul/funk remains true to its roots.
The Roots and Legend bring back 11 iconic protest songs from the 1960s and '70s that were popular during a time of civil rights struggles and war. While many may have been forgotten, The Roots and Legend manage to bring them back into popular consciousness at a time when we desperately need them more than ever before.
John Legend, a singer-songwriter who's made the most of his time onstage, has spent much of his life asserting himself as an artist. But he's also been married, father, activist, and just an ordinary guy. On Wake Up! John explores how grief has affected him personally.
He was raised in a blue-collar town of Ohio, where his parents were model students and community volunteers. They instilled faith and compassion into him from an early age; however, their generosity was cut short when his grandmother passed away at twenty-one.
In his free time, he dedicated himself to writing and producing music. In 2004, he released Get Lifted as his debut album on Kanye West's GOOD Music label; it went on to sell 540,300 copies in America and earned three Grammy awards.
Since then, he's collaborated with The Roots and released Wake Up!, a collection of protest songs from the 1960s and '70s that focus on social issues. This record was inspired by Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and features guest appearances by Black Thought, CL Smooth, Common, and Melanie Fiona.
The band dives headfirst into the material, taking songs in with an unflinching assurance and powering through them with uncompromising precision. Black Thought's rapping feels integral to the songs rather than added on top. Furthermore, The Roots' playing is tight yet unshowy, allowing Legend's voice to sway freely without being hindered by lack of depth.
But it's the eloquently performed covers of songs like Curtis Mayfield's "Compared to What" and Baby Huey's "Hard Times" that demonstrate this is more than just a vanity project; they bring life back into these '70s protest songs by connecting them with modern sensibilities.
That's what makes this album such a remarkable achievement - that it works so perfectly within Legend's career and is so deeply rooted in his own experience. It's an uplifting, honest, and poignant testament to how love and loss have shaped him into the person we know today.
John Legend's newest song, All of Me, was inspired by his affection for model Chrissy Teigen. Recorded in 2013 and released on his album Legend (Solo Piano Version), the track has an unforgettable feel and is one of the most heartfelt pieces on the album.
It's a soul R&B ballad featuring legend on the piano and Stirling playing violin. The lyrics read like love poems rather than traditional songs, while the music is quite soft and beautiful. The piano chord frames and Legend's voice blend beautifully together, creating an enjoyable slow progression of chords throughout the song.
All of Me was an international hit, reaching number one and selling over 1.8 million copies - making it the third highest-selling single of 2014.
Nabil Elderkin directed the video for All of Me, shot in Italy - a place symbolizing their relationship. It was shot just days before their nuptials and includes footage from Lake Como's shores. Filmed in black and white, it was released on March 11th 2013 to over 1.3 billion views on YouTube.
John Legend and Lindsey Stirling's video for "All of Me" has become one of the most popular music videos online, boasting over 1.3 billion views on YouTube. Not only is the quality excellent, but Legend and Stirling also showcase their chemistry in an adorable dance scene - this is their best collaboration since 2007's foxy and frivolous 'Stereo'. While 'All of Me' may not become a classic yet, we predict it will remain popular for years to come.
Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist, songwriter and dancer whose performance on NBC's America's Got Talent garnered national attention. Since then she has earned a devoted following for her innovative musical style that blends violin playing with hip hop beats and dubstep beats.
She has released several albums over her career, including her self-titled debut in 2012 and 2014's Shatter Me which debuted at number two on Billboard charts. Additionally, she has collaborated with singers such as Lzzy Hale, Dia Frampton, and Christina Perri.
Born in Santa Ana, California and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Stirling began playing violin at five years old. She performed with her band Stomp on Melvin and won the Arizona Junior Miss title in 2006.
After competing on the first season of America's Got Talent, Stirling created music videos to promote her performances, which quickly went viral and earned her an enthusiastic following. Collaborating with cinematographer Devin Graham, Stirling produced stunning outdoor settings that served as stunning visual accompaniment for each of her songs.
She is a self-described "hip-hop violinist" who has toured the world numerous times. To showcase her music videos and vlogs, Lindseystomp created its own YouTube channel called Lindseystomp which features both videos of performances as well as behind-the-scenes content. Her most popular video, "Crystallize," boasted over 3 billion views and 11 million subscribers as of November 2018.
As her career evolved, Stirling explored a different musical genre by collaborating with vocalists such as Amy Lee, Elle King and Rooty on her albums Artemis and Warmer in the Winter. Additionally, she released several holiday albums including Snow Waltz in 2022.
Her third album, Brave Enough, was released in 2016. It featured collaborations with other artists like Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, Christian rapper Lecrae, Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari and Christina Perri. It reached number one on both Billboard classical and dance/electronic charts thanks to partially funded by her fans; it received critical acclaim from many critics as well. She has since toured both North America and Europe in support of Brave Enough.
One of the most viewed YouTube videos ever, all of me john legend was a global hit that made waves both in the UK and US. Named number one by Rolling Stone magazine, it sold over 1.8 million copies worldwide and topped Billboard Hot 100 as well as topping Spotify's main playlist. Written by Grammy award-winning songwriter Max Martin and produced by Grammy award winning producer Dave Tozer, Nabil Elderkin directed and filmed in Italy for this tribute to their love story which has been viewed millions upon millions across the world.
This song has a long and storied history, beginning with its initial release on October 26, 2013. It went on to become one of the top selling singles of 2014; a live version was released in September 2014 during an extensive tour around the UK. Certified platinum in the UK and gold in both US and Australia, the track continues to have a devoted following today.