The last time John Legend and The Roots broke you off something from their upcoming collaboration Wake Up!, it was an eye-opener in the form of “Wake Up Everybody”. Now, via Hypetrak and Tha Carter Cartel, the super group gets its super sexy, slow jam groove on in “Shine” and brews up a funktastic rock number in “Hard Times”.
Unlike the uptempo, flow-featuring “Wake Up Everybody”, “Shine” has a bit of an elegant feel, with a beat that’s heavy on the organs and some fairly whimsical and evocative horns. Invoking almost a gospel vibe, thanks mostly in part to Legend’s booming vocals, it’s a big production that remains steady and low-key, all without losing any of its depth and subtle power.
“Hard Times” has a lot more oomph to it, with a solid back beat that takes the same organ line and adds more spice to it. With horns ripped right from a James Brown song and a bass line that is sticky with some sweet grooves, it reaches a climax by the time Black Thought cuts a verse. Of course, Legend name-dropping Spam, Oreos, and Thunderbird has to be heard.
Enjoy both tracks below. Wake Up! is scheduled to hit stores September 21st.