John Legend - Once Again

2007-01-31 09:49
He’s collaborated with Kanye West once again as executive producer, Raphael Saadiq and from the Black Eyed Peas, resulting in a fresh and an eclectic yet coherent sound that blends vintage soul, 70’s lounge, to upbeat and classic rhythm and blues soul. The themes of love and loss run through the album. Also expect the odd surprise, like “Show me”, an alternative/rock track.

So will Once Again enjoy as much commercial success as the phenomenal three million copies that Legend's debut sold?

If the slightly odd first single, “Save Room” is anything to go by, you have to wonder. It’s bland, hard to place, and takes time to grow on you. Or maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s meant to show Legend’s dexterity in creating a fresh sound that doesn’t fit in any box. The next single, “Heaven” is very catchy. Kanye’s signature choral backing vocals and samples of the old tune, “Heaven only Knows” by Monk Higgins get remixed to a hip-hop beat without losing that 70's nostalgia. Mid-way through, with the track “Slow Dance”, Legend's sound is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway-era Motown. Boasting lyrics such as, “Can we wait just a minute, slow it down for a minute…turn that TV off for a minute all that politics and shit, let’s play the music we used to play”, this is music that just makes you want to tap your feet, sway, snap your fingers, grab a glass of wine and really slow dance with your honey. It also conjures up images of an old married couple, dancing on the porch really slowly, remembering the good times back in the day. A real old school slow jam.

“Again” is all John Legend style, with classic piano, keyboard and guitar - a smoothly delivered ballad about stealing fruit from the forbidden tree over and over again, knowing how sinful it is.

The final track, “Coming home”, saves the best for last, moving you and rounding off the album. It’s like finally coming home after a quite eventful journey.

- Gugu Mkhabela
John Stephens deserves his stage name "John Legend". His debut album, Get Lifted bagged several Grammy awards and it sounds like his new offering, aptly titled Once Again, might just follow suit.

What to read next: Kalahari

coco 2007/01/30 3:50 PM
I luvvvvvv John Legend! Nice review, will but it
M Mokotedi 2007/01/31 3:27 PM
Once again Its a must have cd, quite nice.
luso mnthali 2007/02/02 4:10 PM
Once Again hmmm...nice review, i want to listen to it now, and perhaps buy it. curious about the rock track, and the 70s sounds.
Tasj 2007/02/05 10:05 AM
Once Again review well said, the album does take some time grow in you, but it aint as good as the first album where you COULD NOT SKIP ANY SONG...FULL PLAY ALL THE WAY!
suzy jones 2007/05/06 1:06 PM
Once Again everytime this man releases an album he brings it sorry Tasj have to disagree with you there gal...this album is as great as the first one...totally rocks!
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.