Uh-oh! Immediately after the November release of John Legend’s third LP Evolver, fans from every avenue flooded message boards to air their feelings about the new album. The argument came down to this: Is John Legend on the decline or succeeding in one helluva evolution?
Well there really is no debate; Evolver is no doubt a positive evolution of Mr. Legend’s soul-shaking music. The vibe on this album is definitely full of more production beats than the familiar feel of Legend’s piano and live instrument — and this might be exactly where fans might start splitting their focus. But here’s a shocker: it doesn’t make a difference to the listening experience.
So without the same album flow found on Legend’s previous two releases, what could it possibly leave this album to be? One word: Epic! It’s different but Legend’s creativity, useful insight and humor are more present than ever. Legend does his usual; daring to talk about things usually left unsaid by most musical artists.
“It’s Over,” featuring Kanye West, is about the dismissal of a woman when a man stubbornly has to force himself to realize that he just can’t be who his woman wants him to be anymore. How many men can actually admit to that? Although we all pretend we know what makes a relationship really work, Legend points out we definitely have no idea in the cleverly titled track “Everybody Knows.”
Evolver is no doubt a positive evolution of Mr. Legend’s soul-shaking music.
On track five, Legend pleas with R&B singer Brandy to get her to love him “Quickly.” The sultry singer Estelle makes an appearance on the Supa Dups reggae creation “No Other Love,” proving that obviously her love is ultimately like no other. Two solid lovers-only noteworthy tracks on the album include “Good Morning,” which is simply a beautiful love song to wake up next to a lover with, and the appropriately titled “I Love, You Love,” which not only continues to put the listener into a lovey-dovey mood but sensitively explores the pain of loving again after one’s previous relationship dilemmas.
Of the last few tracks, “If You’re Out There” displays commendable relevance to the stressful decade the world has experienced. In hindsight, this surely would’ve been a great song to add to Barack Obama’s presidential run and his inspiring message of change all over the world. Nonetheless, Legend makes the plea that anyone wishing to end poverty, war and psychological hate should join him in the fight to be our own heroes and change the world.
Evolver is produced by masterminds such as Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Will.I.Am, and even Pharrell. So take the hint and start your own evolution by getting this album — right now! It’s just that good!
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By Ashlé Grant