Likes: Made to Love, Open Your Eyes, Dreams, We Loved It
Overall: Romantic and theatrical, but too mellow
One thing I’ve always loved about John Legend is that he can sing about the most discussed topics in music-love, sex and relationships-and make his albums a hypnotizing, enticing, sensational experience. I always end up swooning at the end of his albums (although I wasn’t that big on the previous “Evolver”). His records go beyond having a theme; they have ambiance. Classic soul and R&B met the contemporary on Legend’s debuting tale of love and indiscretions on “Get Lifted” and the lounge-grooved follow-up, “Once Again,” illustrated recovery. The latest “Love in the Future” makes the detouring “Evolver (it seemed to drastically differentiate from Legend’s pattern)” look like it didn’t exist as it seems to be a story connector. In the opening intro, Legend proclaims that this isn’t about the tattered love of the past, but a promising love of the future where the only task is to sit back and enjoy. There are very few songs about romantic hardship and many of those that mention it, paint struggle as miniscule. “Future” also sounds like a connecting dot musically; it’s like a theatrical fusion of “Lifted” and “Again.” I use the word theatrical because a lot of the tracks easily could be used in a film, especially “Made to Love” and “Who Do We Think We Are?” The most spellbinding track is “We Loved It” featuring Seal, who’s always been good at intoxication. I don’t care for most cover songs, but Legend’s edition of Bobby Womack’s “Open Your Eyes” was on repeat. My main criticism of “Love in the Future” is that even though it takes certain aspects from “Lifted,” it doesn’t make use of the most important one: energy and balance of tempo. More like “Again” in that regard, “Future” is very mellow. Too mellow. I was craving ferocity and a little kick musically. Just like Beyonce` should look at “Dangerously in Love” as her standard to refer to, John Legend should refer back to “Get Lifted,” and often.