New Releases: John Legend Merges Into Fast Lane on New Album
If John Legend‘s 2004 debut ‘Get Lifted’ was a contemporary neo-soul record, then his latest ‘Evolver’ is its funkier more upbeat cousin. Just as the title would suggest every track on this album is a deviated evolution into dance music with soulful flair. From the first single ‘Green Light’ featuring the freestyle skills of Andre 3000 to the reggae-rooted ‘No Other Love,’ featuring songstress Estelle.
This time around Legend steps further and further from his piano seat and deeper into swift percussions and breathy snare. On ‘It’s Over,’ written by Pharrell Williams, Legend flips a title usually reserved for a sorrowful love ballad and merges into the fast lane. Along for the ride is Kanye West and his new favorite companion — his vocoder. As he has done on previous features, West’s sarcastic witty rhyme scheme is not only front and center, but fits perfectly.’Quickly’ featuring Brandy sheds the fairytale love mantra and replaces it with politically charged urgency. Both Brandy and Legend go head-to-head swooning over how love’s satisfaction has the power to take one’s mind off the world’s troubles. Slowing things down are the flattering love ballads, ‘If You’re Out There,’ ‘This Time’ and ‘Good Morning.’ The bonus tracks provide added shine to ‘Evolver’s’ sparkle among them is ‘Floating Away’ similar to 2004’s ‘So High.’
Legend’s effort finds the healthy medium between comfortably cool and tangible emotion. He proves that love songs don’t have to be sad but it’s his distinct voice and a few low registers keys from his piano that makes ‘Evolver’ such a note-worthy exertion.