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Customer Reviews

32
4.3 out of 5 stars
Wake Up!
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£5.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2012
Arrived today as 'nearly new' but looked like it hadn't been played. Was surprised to find a bonus 25min DVD showing the guys in the studio and interviewed about the concept of the album.

Again amazing value for money. I paid about £4 for this, the CD is just as good, if not slightly better musically with a larger lineup of backing vocals, horn and string sections. The DVD audio is more detailed but that's a given. It's far from being a disappointment!
I've been a fan of the Roots since the late 90's and the fact that they are still on top of their game and still relevant in an industry that normally gives a band a 5 year window, is testament to their incredible musicianship. John Legend works very well with this group of musicians and sounds great, a whole lotta soul goin' on!

A great choice of songs, not the obvious choices but that's the good point about it.

Worth every penny even at full price, but all the sweeter getting it at a bargain price!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Crikey! Soul music really doesn't get much better than this!
(Actually, music of any creed or kind doesn't get much better than this!)

John Legend's collaboration with The Roots is a sonic marriage
made in heaven. Mr Legend has always had a fine voice but
on 'Wake Up!' he digs deep and comes back with the most
confident and convincing performances of his estimable career.

If I had to choose one song from the big bunch of great songs
to have flowered and flourished in the listening world this year
i'll take this ensemble's rendition of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes'
'Wake Up Everybody' (featuring the additional dulcet tones of
Common and Melanie Flora) to take with me to my desert island!
It really is wonderful beyond words. Buy it for this track alone
and then open up your ears and heart to the many other treasures
waiting to enchant, beguile and thrill you!

Marvin Gaye's 'Wholly Holy' is also given a truly sublime work-out
which really will make the hair stand up along your neck and spine!
So too the jaunty gospel-blues of Nina Simone's 'I Wish I Knew How
It Would Feel To Be Free', it's glorious message, given new breath,
life and relevance, as powerfully true as it ever was! Stunning!!

John Stephens' uplifting composition 'Shine' brings the project to a
mellow and memorable conclusion. Mr Legend sings it like an angel!

The instrumental and vocal arrangements are never less than
consummately realised. The production is warm, vivid and wholly alive.

A Masterpiece. Nothing more, nothing less!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2010
Let me nail my colurs to the mast - in my opinion, The Roots are the finest exponents of hip-hop, period. I go back as far as Cool Herc, Soul Sonic Crew and Funk Master Flex through to KRS 1, Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest and Talib Kweli. As far a John Legend is concerned, I'm a definately NOT a fan, hard as I've tried. I would not put him in the same class as Bilal, D'Angelo, Jaheim, Anthony Hamilton, Joe etc - the guy just does not move me as some singers can. As owner as both Get Lifted and Evolver albums, I always felt that he was a fine singer, but simply did not have the material to show off his talents. I compare the situation to why so many wanted to work with the Neptunes, Mark Ronson and JDilla (RIP) all geniuses when it comes to musical production.

What sets The Roots apart are that they are (have evolved) into a hip-hop "band"; their talent in this field is peerless being able to play absolutely anything, with anyone. This being they case, they obviously took time to dissect and analyse Legend's voice and subsequently selected a range of songs which are a perfect foil for his down-home earthy voice.

I first became aware of what was in store by seeing the live performance at the 2010 Fifa World Cup which blew me away - I finally thought "someone has actually worked out how to use this guy!" This album is testimony to that. Yes, apart from "Shine" its full of covers, but unless you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of music, there is lot to which you will not familiar. Apart from the title track, which is the "pull in a wide audience" track, there are a number of absolute gems. Personal favourites are Humanity (a very popular Lovers Rock staple) and wonderful version of Bill Withers (I can't write Left Handed)

I truly hope that Legend decides to look toward more collaborations so he can concentrate on creating some vocal highlights that will stand the test of time. As far as The Roots are concerned, I am once again in shock and awe of their ability to create music that I thought was lost when "auto-tune" became a household name.

Glorious
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2011
This album does depart slightly from John Legend's previous work. I'd go so far as calling it a "concept" album because I'd say it's more experimental, very much infused with jazzy sounds and lots of soul. It's a great listen and the guest appearances really do add to the disc. Black Thought doesn't appear as much as a Roots fan may have liked, but when he does appear on tracks, he certainly adds value to them.

This album is made for real music lovers, and doesn't fail to impress.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2010
Quite simply this is the album of the year so far. Every track is a complete masterpiece. John Legend has NEVER sounded this good! Pairing up with The Roots is a match made in heaven. I've been waiting for a soulful album like this for a long time and now it's here. Fair enough its a covers album all but the last track, but nevertheless the songs are covered to the highest quality. Not even one track can be skipped in my opinion, its impossible to pick a highlight without listing every track.
I was an original John Legend fan but lost a bit of faith after his past couple of albums. I hope he continues on this note. You NEED this in your collection!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 December 2010
John Legend has always seemed to me to have something else to give on the vast majority of his output, such a fine voice too often let down by pedestrian songs or production, resulting in a strangely clinical feel. Only occasionally would the Soul music that so clearly inspired him come through. No such problems on this set though, as Legend's vocal revisits the golden era of Soul, responding with real feeling and passion.

But this is much more than a neo Soul workout. The added delight is The Roots musicianship which drives things along so effectively, and in particular,?uestlove's drumming, which put me in mind of Clyde Stubblefield. ?uestove also shares production, which manages to be current, while still remaining faithful (enough) to the intent of the original artists, and the tracks where this is best shown are a marvellous version of Bill Withers' "I Can't Write Left Handed", with Legend testifying in fine style, and Hathaway's "Little Ghetto Boy".

"Compared to What" is an absolute delight, an updated funk workout of a track that I knew as a more laid back jazz vibe, there's an ethereal homage to Marvin Gaye on "Wholly Holy", and a gospel style "I wish I Knew...", but it is churlish to pick out individual tracks on such an album, which has quality running through it.

I really cannot recommend this album highly enough - it will appeal to fans of either artist and to old Soul boys and girls, and it should also tempt younger fans to seek out some of the originals, to see where the inspiration came from.

Album of the Year 2010
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on 4 February 2011
John Legend does it again with a great collection of tunes from yesteryear.
Particularly love his version of Mike James Kirkland's 1972 'Hang on in there'. Buy it and not be disappointed
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on 17 March 2015
John Legend is a great musician, writer of music, and a great voice. Indeed my most favourite artist. I would definitely recommend this cd.
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on 4 March 2013
I bought this item for a christmas gift. I love it and my friend love too.
Buy this item, because is lovely
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on 9 May 2013
What can you say, one of the best modern day soul men with the best hip hop band, simply brilliant.
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