Album review: John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up!

Legend’s latest is more ‘duvet day’ than ‘rise and shine’...

Taking on some of the more socially conscious songs from ‘60s and ‘70s soul, this album ostensibly tells its listeners to do exactly what it says on the tin.

Change, hope, activism - difficult enough to galvanise in the cynical, cash-strapped Noughties, despite Obama’s rise to power - are enshrined in these dozen tracks.

But the passion falters or fades too often to stir into action the brains of any young hip-hop and soul fans who have spent more than five minutes in front of an Xbox.

Our Generation (The Hope Of The World), a typical example, surges and grooves along with Legend’s impassioned gymnastics, and a sober rap from CL Smooth is slipped in, but the bluster lacks bite and, somehow, conviction.

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3 stars

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