Photography by Maizzy…
Going to try something a little different today. Let’s be all legitimate and shit, shall we? Here goes…
What should’ve been a no-brainer, John Legend & The Roots, re-creating some awesome classics with soul, swagger, and love should’ve blasted it’s way up my mental charts! I mean, sure, Legend has drank a wee-bit too much out of the Kanye-Foxx I’m too sexy for this universe pitcher of kool-aid, but it’s cool, it’s not like he’s acting the douche on some stupid industry awards program or acting that, well, because he played Ray Charles, he was, therefore, ergo, etc, endowed with musical talent.
No, this is John Legend, man’s got talent.
And the Roots, well, I have nothing to say, their discography speaks for itself. They’ve had a bit of mainstream success here and there as mass media have picked them up on this thing or that — or was that just my imagination? — but apparently their excitement and belief that one young & hopeful man in one deeply entrenched old political party could make it all better somehow or another got them teamed up with Legend to recreate some songs to encourage you & I to “wake up” via their mostly covers album of the same request, Wake Up
Well… first the good. Sounds tight! Musically, snug as a bug. Pop-pop-pop drums, nothing too extravagant, everything is very well crafted and put together. Song after song, nothing but skillful people at the helm.
The bad? The album is called Wake Up, right? Then how come I feel like every single song is awash in mid-tempo goo? I think Legend sounded more energetic for everyone to “Get Lifted” on his debut album than he does to wake up and change the fucking world on this one? It’s a strange choice of songs as I doze through “Hang On In There”. Instead of hope & change, change I can believe in, looking at the man in the mirror, I feel like the bum who has to ask for some change to go by some more Scope to drink.
And honestly, it’s not even the theme of the album, if this was just a loving covers album, I’d be saying the same thing.
You know… this happens too, when some things are just too perfect, seem to be absolutely no-brainer-rific, say, Jack Nicholson playing a werewolf, turn into complete boring duds. It’s almost….. too clinical? I think it’s Legend, he sounds half asleep, like he phoned it in, though I’m sure he didn’t but, you know, where’s the soul? The swagger? The love??? Sorry, fellers, 2 1/2 wheelies…
Major label, we’ll stick with vids… ;)
1. Hard Times
2. Compared To What
3. Wake Up Everybody
4. Our Generation (The Hope Of The World)
5. Little Ghetto Boy (Prelude)
6. Little Ghetto Boy
7. Hang On In There
8. Humanity (Love The Way It Should Be)
9. Wholy Holy
10. I Can’t Write Left Handed John Legend & The Roots
11. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free