Classic, neo-soul combine to make John a ‘Legend’

The highly anticipated debut album from John Legend is finally out and hot off the press and 90.5 WANM’s own Soul Sista Ya Ya has the review.

It is just one of those days you’ve been running around campus from class to class, and your feet hurt from hiking up FAMU’s highest hill. At the end of the day you finally get a chance to chill, kick your feet up and pop in the new John Legend CD when these lyrics are whispered to you.

Come on and go with me/ There is something new for you to see/ Come on and go with me/ There is something new for you to see/ Just relax, Just relax.

These lyrics come from the “Prelude” off the debut release of R&B newcomer John Legend’s album entitled “Get Lifted.”

This album includes a rhythmic blend of old school soul, yet with a new and refreshing twenty-something feel. To top it all off, Legends’ raspy vocals add just enough church flavor without considering this a gospel album.

From the moment after you have pressed the play button on the CD player, you already know this will not be your typical watered down R&B album.

Legend is very much a part of the movement to bring back real soul music. This is evident from the first two singles off the album.

“Used to Love U” and “Ordinary People” both have a classic soulful sound. Whether it’s the familiarity and gospel feel in “Used to Love U” or the honesty and sincerity from one of the best songs on the album, “Ordinary People.” Legend is clearly setting himself aside from the rest.

It also doesn’t hurt that John Legend’s debut album was co-produced by multi-platinum producer and recording artist Kanye West.

Though Legend is often considered to be West’s protégé, he proves on this album that he is ready to come out from the background. This singer/songwriter wrote and produced all 14 tracks on the album.

Another mentionable track on the album is “Number One.” Continuing with the old school groove, “Number One” contains excerpts from “Lets do it Again” by the Staple Sisters. However, the content may be quite controversial for the ladies, as Legend tries to justify infidelity in his lyrics.

Now you can’t say I don’t love you/ just because I cheat on you.

Though you may disagree with him, you have to give it to a brotha for trying.

Overall, this album is a great listen while on an afternoon drive, during a Sunday afternoon cleaning session, or while setting the mood with that significant other.

The classic soulful rhythms, colored by piano chords, trumpets tunes, and trademark gospel voice creates the perfect ending to an otherwise ordinary, mundane day.

Grade A-

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