When “Wake Up Everybody” leaked just more than a month ago, the response was less than enthusiastic for the Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes cover. Yes, it’s a fine take on the soulful, sociopolitical-driven track. But, admittedly, it’s just a little too cornball to be as effective as it could be. Fortunately for those involved, the track is put into a better context thanks to the above visuals for “Wake Up Everybody.” In particular, the whole back-in-the-day look during Common’s verse allows you to fully grasp what the Roots and John Legend are trying to do here. And that’s transport us back to the ’60s and ’70s via soul and R&B songs that remain poignant today. But I maintain that Black Thought should have had a verse, though I appreciate the fact he introduces the song and mentality of the entire album in the first 25 seconds or so.
John Legend and the Roots’ Wake Up! drops Sept. 21.