We got wind of this collaborative album earlier this year, but details remained somewhat scarce until May. It was revealed then that the Roots and John Legend’s project, Wake Up!, would feature a slew of soul covers from the 1960s and ’70s. In particular, the two acts, who have teamed up before and most recently on the Roots’ How I Got Over, looked for tracks with a socially aware/conscious bent.
The album, which grew from a single track in 2008 to a full-length, features the Roots and Legend tackling the likes of Marvin Gaye’s “Wholy Holy,” Donny Hathaway’s “Little Ghetto Boy” and Mike James Kirkland’s “Hang on in There.” The first single from the project will be Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody” and features Melanie Fiona and Common. It’s not all covers, though, as the record will feature a brand new track from Legend called “Shine,” which will double as a promotional cut for Davis Guggenheim’s upcoming documentary, Waiting for Superman.
Wake Up! is due out Sept. 21 on Sony Music. The Roots’ How I Got Over is in stores now.