John Legend & The Roots have confirmed September 21 as the release date for their collaborative album Wake Up!. As previously reported, the album features a range of covers of music from the 60’s and 70’s all “with an underlying theme of awareness, engagement and consciousness.” Highlights include “Wholly Holy” (Marvin Gaye), “Little Ghetto Boy” (Donny Hathaway), “Hard Times” (“Baby Huey and the Babysitters”) and “Hang on in There” (Mike James Kirkland).
“These songs sound so relevant now,” Legend said in a statement. “On most of them, you wouldn’t change a lyric. ‘Wake Up Everybody’ (the album’s first single, featuring contributions from Melanie Fiona and Common) has four verses—the first one is a general statement, the second is about education, third is about health care, and the fourth is about making a better environment. No editing needed.”
The album’s only original composition is Legend’s “Shine,” which is featured in Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s upcoming documentary film Waiting for Superman.