John Legend: “LEGEND” album review
American singer-songwriter John Legend released his seventh studio album, “LEGEND,” Friday.
Considering this album is being released so far into his career, it is quite unusual that it is self-titled at first glance, but his interview with “Today” gave insight on this title and much more.
Legend talks about how this album has a song for any mood a listener might be in, whether it’d be to dance, to cry or to think about that special person.
In doing this, he split the album into two acts, each consisting of 12 tracks.
Act I gives listeners some groovy tunes to get up and dance to, especially “All She Wanna Do,” which pops up twice, with one version featuring Saweetie.
The “Best Friend” rapper also appears in the music video, which captures the essence of Las Vegas, giving viewers a glimpse of what to expect at Legend's shows at the Zappos Theater in October.
From his snazzy hot-pink ensemble to his dance moves, he fully embodies the vibes of the track.
On the album, Legend has several other duets with hand-picked artists that he believed would take certain tracks to another level.
“Dope” combines the groovy-feel of Act I and the unique style of American rapper, JID.
The music video for this track is a lively house party scene full of the typical elements — booze, drugs and everyone getting loose.
The album shifts gears into Act II with the track “Memories,” which is more guitar and bass heavy at the start, and subtly incorporates orchestral arrangement toward the end.
From lyrics to the arrangement, this tune is a masterfully crafted track that creates chills that travels from the ears to the spirit of listeners.
It is no wonder who “Wonder Woman” was inspired by, seeing that Legend and American model — and controversial Tweeter — Chrissy Teigen will be approaching 10 years of marriage and welcoming a baby in 2023.
“Honey,” featuring R&B artist Muni Long, has been climbing the Adult Airplay R&B Billboard charts, already finding its way to No. 7 this week.
The climb up the “adult” chart represents the main audience of this album, but more specifically the very early-end Gen Z and up.
For those who are not as interested in R&B music, this album may not be as appealing, and might take some time to grow on those listeners — if it does at all.
Hearing Legend talk about the purpose of this album in correlation to what is going on in the world during his interview on “Today” helps appeal to potential listeners.
During the interview, he mentions how he decided to go back to some of his gospel roots, which is extremely apparent during Act II, specifically in “Home,” “I Don’t Love You Like I Used To” and “Nervous.”
For most of the album, Legend stays consistent with the musicality between tracks, but diverges from this traditional sound in “I Want You To Know,’ which has a Caribbean feel to it. It's refreshing for listeners to hear Legend step out of his usual style and they can only hope he will continue to explore avenues such as this.
Going back to Act I, “Guy Like Me” is fit for a movie soundtrack, likely making it a hit or miss with listeners.
Another track that may receive split reactions from listeners is “Fate.” The percussion in the background is electrifying, but this track may not stand out relative to the other tracks.
This album was masterfully put together, hitting the mark with the perfect star-studded features and creating an interesting dynamic between Act I and Act II.
The composition of each track communicates a genuine feeling, whether it’d be celebrating the beautiful things in life or dealing with losses.
That being said, this album was one from the heart. There is no doubt that by next week a minimum of two tracks will find their rightful places in the R&B charts as well.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Wonder Woman”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Speak in Tongues (feat. Jada Kingdom)”
Abigail Chachoute is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.