==begin== There was a time when albums, and music in general, were not mere wallpaper in our daily existence. There’s that phrase about how music is the soundtrack to our lives, but I can go one deeper. In many ways, growing up with music, seeking and finding something that made us become more aware of the world, made us look forward to wanting to grow up to become adults so we could experience grown-up things in real time. Music was a relative, if not a parent, and listening was a bit like the kind of mothering we wanted and demanded, even if we had no idea what was happening as we listened, sang, and danced. Wake Up! (Columbia) is that album that perhaps a lot of us have been waiting for for years. It is a direct message from one generation to another, singing songs about one generation to another, in the hopes of finding some sense of common ground for one another. Yes, it’s that type of album.
Let me get this out of the way. I have never been a big John Legend fan. I don’t hate the man, his voice, or his songs. What I did not like was hearing this guy who has a really good voice, getting songs that seemed sub-standard for him, as if they were forced. Here’s a guy who said “you know what, I’m going to call myself Legend because I feel I can be a legend” but his music was far from being legendary. He has many hits to his name and has won a few awards, but I wanted to tell him “damn, do you want more?!!!??!”
This question, of course, leads me directly to The Roots. ==?????==