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Album Review

Wakey Wakey's passionate third LP, Overreactivist, opens with swelling strings and twinkling piano, where frontman Michael Grubbs finds his love heartbroken and hopeless. Instead of giving in, he urges them to hold on, just as the cleansing "Adam & Eve" sparkles to life. Here, he promises a fresh start for his Eve, but it's also a plea for rebirth and the salvation of a broken society. This sentiment is central on Overreactivist, a deeply personal journey of love and hope in a time when things don't always go as planned. After he switched things up with the pure pop of his 2014 sophomore effort, Grubbs has returned to the sound of his debut, where he utilized driving piano melodies to propel his story forward, much like the heart-on-the-sleeve piano pop of Ben Folds or Five for Fighting. His vocals push the subject matter to unabashedly earnest heights, at points sounding like Foreigner's Lou Gramm ("Freeze") or even Neil Diamond ("C'est la Vie"). Emotional and heartfelt, Grubbs lifts the spirit with a narrative that is vaguely political, tiptoeing between the personal and the big picture, resonating on multiple levels. As the title suggests, these are glimpses of how Grubbs (over)reacts to life, the disillusionment that might follow, and the need to keep going. In fact, that hope connects everything on Overreactivist, with at least four songs including lyrics reassuring that things will be "alright" ("Overreactivist," "Golden," "Freeze," and "Still Life"). This earnest positivity is undeniable, making even the harder-edged subjects on "Homeless Poets," "Cruel You," and "Stop Turning" seem empowering. Among the brightest points on the album, "Light & Nothing More" stands out. As a touching, purely poignant declaration of love that is readymade for the first dance at countless weddings, it is completely romantic and free of any uncertainty. At the close, Grubbs seems resigned to his lost love, or a lost society, before turning it all around. "The world will go on turning...the sun still shines upon you." After 13 songs of such sentiment, it's convincing enough to make even the most disheartened cynic a believer that one day everything might be alright. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

Customer Reviews

It's Wakey!Wakey! What's not to love?

Grubbs is a one of a kind guy. Such an underrated musician. And this album is gonna be like its predecessors--amazing.

So excited!!

Can't wait for it to come out!! Wakey Wakey is so talented


I'm so excited for this album! Wakey Wakey= pure talent❤️ it's going to be released one day after my bday so this is going to be a treat for myself!


Genre: Alternative

Michael Grubbs performed in bar bands and musical theater productions before launching Wakey!Wakey!, a pop/rock group that put his piano background and vocal skills to good use. Grubbs' childhood had been filled with piano lessons -- his mother, a longtime piano teacher, made sure her children practiced the instrument daily -- and he built Wakey!Wakey!'s sound upon the influences of Billy Joel, Elton John, George Gershwin, and other ivory-pounding songwriters. Signing with Family Records, his group...
Full Bio
Overreactivist, Wakey Wakey
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