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.

Covers Episode 1 is out now!

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

View All Articles