John Legend - Evolver (Deluxe Edition)

2009-01-07 08:34
 
Evolver (SonyBMG, 2008)
 
The album did exactly what it said on the cover - it was more of the same, and was a lackluster follow-up to Get Lifted, the album that marked Legend as a hot new talent, and won himself a Best New Artist Grammy Award in the process.

Luckily, Legend has equally talented friends, happy to help him create his new sound, and it seems the envelope-pushing, experimental nature of some of his collaborators on Evolver – particularly Outkast's Andre 3000 and Kanye West – has rubbed off on him.

And it's no more note-worthy than on "Green Light" (featuring Andre 3000's mad rhymes), possibly Legend's first official dance song. Sexy, upbeat and bursting with the kind of energy that made bootyliciousness possible, it's not only a departure for Legend, it's also his best song in ages.

There are electronic glitches on "It's Over" (with an auto-tuned Kanye West) and a perfectly pitched duet with the back-in-favour Brandy called "Quickly" (that goes against the R 'n B credo of intensely protracted love-making sessions).

But don't get the idea that the trademark Legend sound is a thing of the past. His warm ivory twinklings are still around, as well as the knee-weakening ballads that make his romantic poetry the kind of thing babies are made to. "This Time" and "Satisfaction" are prime bedroom music, but, hey, this ain't no one-night stand because he even has 'Good Morning' primed for when you wake up, all loved-up and blissful.

Evolver ends on a particularly dramatic note, with the epic and love-sick "If You're Out There", which, naturally, features a full-on choir. Look out for the souped-up Deluxe Edition which includes two bonus tracks and a DVD which documents the making of the album.


That album title says much about John Legend's intent with his third album. It certainly is a time for change in his sound and vision, especially after experiencing somewhat of a sophomore slump (for him) when Once Again failed to hit the top spot on the Billboard album chart two years ago.

Tsholofelo Maje 2009/01/15 11:35 AM
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All i can say about John Legend is, he's a great singer. In shot, he rocks.
Kgomotso Tshabalala 2009/09/29 4:29 PM
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i absolutely love John Legend, he is a true music legend. i listen to his cd everyday on way to work, dropping of my daughter at pre-school, and just today i went ot purchase tickets to his concert for the 18th october 2009. CANT WAIT!!!!! cant wait to hear is next offering.
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