Salvation is the first new album in four years (second full-length) from Brooklyn-based Wakey! Wakey! Led by lead singer Michael Grubbs (once a regular on CW Networks’ “One Tree Hill”), this piano-driven pop has a radio-friendly, big sound. From the moment this album kicks in, it grabs the listener with its anthemic stylings and soundtrack-friendly vibe. Opening track “All It Takes Is A Little Love” is just such a number as it reaches out and seizes you by the throat. “Through The Night” has a nice, synth-fed melody and rich vocals; “Stop The World” has an ’80’s feel – think Yaz, etc. – a subdued pop ballad. The Broadway-theatrical “Anhedonia” is a dramatic and melancholic number and “Nothing’s Cool” has a tight piano riff and tense drum rhythm which keeps the vocals on a short leash and helps build into where the track kicks in on the second verse.
There are a cluster of albums I’ve heard recently (and some I’ve reviewed) that have an alt-pop-meets-Broadway feel and Wakey! Wakey! is not dissimilar to that genre. It’s not a bad thing – certainly, Michael Grubbs’ vocals are strong, his writing is solid and mature. It would be nice to see more of a full-on band arrangement on the next album, but this has some very fine moments.