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Sunday, 2 January 2011


NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Musicians John Legend (C) and The Roots perform onstage at the Dow Live Earth Run for Water at Prospect Park on April 18, 2010 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Live Earth Events)

5/5. The greatest soul singer today teamed up with the greatest hip-hop band ever to 'Wake Up!' some ol'soul classics. On this album John Legend and The Roots covered a lot of historical, musical ground with their versions of tracks from everybody from Curtis Mayfield (on the standout 'Hard Times') to Bill Withers (on the poignant 'I Can't Write Left Handed'). Their song selection was real deep as they chose no to opt for the most, popular or conventional singles. From their opening jam 'Wake Up Everybody' with Common and Melanie Fiona to the last cut 'Shine' this new 'group' just got deeper and brighter. Every track was classic, just like their originals from the unrivalled 'Compared To What' to the grown up 'Little Ghetto Boy'. Both artists put in their hardest work, The Roots where busy with their own, great album ('How I Got Over') and finding a home as Jimmy Fallon's house band. Still they helped John further his sound after his personally groundbreaking 'Evolver' album. On this LP, the singer furthered his legend and the band awoke The Roots of the greatest most emotional musical genre of all time. What resulted was the proof that the harmonies and the messages of these timeless songs still stand relveant today. These soul men went for change and all that's wondered now is whether they could do it again? Yes they can! TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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