By Sisipho Skweyiya| After five years since his last solo album, John Stephens, affectionately known as “John Legend”, came back with a sentimental and amorous 2013 album. It seems his life with new wife Christine Tiegen has brought all the giddiness out of him.
This talented 9-time Grammy Award winner began his musical career in 2001, after being signed by radical hip-hop star, Kanye West. His first album “Get Lifted” released in December 2004 was a huge success as it sold 116,000 copies in its first week of release to 540,300 in the USA, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Ever since his initial success, Legend has never looked back.
Now with his fourth studio album, Love In The Future which debuted number four on the Billboard top 200 and selling 68, 000 copies in its first week in the United States. In this project, he worked with the likes of Kanye West and Dave Tozer on production, and he features Kimbra, Rick Ross, Stacy Barthe and Seal. The production on the album has a very refreshing sound and has a ballad-like feel and however he has maintained his R&B/Soul roots. One can certainly hear the influences of Kanye in songs like “Made to Love” and “Save the Night” as they carry a strong up-beat tempo and have a very hip-hop-like element to them.
The first single, “Love in the Future” perfectly foreshadows the love-centric atmosphere of the whole album. This album is definitely telling a love story, especially since it includes interludes which carry us to the next chapter of his love story and perhaps the journey he has experienced with his new wife. Tracks like “Made to Love”, “All of Me”, “Hold on Longer”, “The Beginning” and “Save the Night”, emphasize his devotion and commitment to his new romance. John also included a cover version of Bob Caldwell’s “Open Your Eyes”, and as expected he did justice to it, with the addition of major chords and a strong underlying bass. Chris Sholar’s guitar solo towards the end gives the track a funky, 80’s rock grit.
The entire album is not only a true or the greatest love story ever sung in balancing harmonies, but John Legend redefined his identity as a contemporary artist. This album is his best work to date.
For more on John Legend, check out his website: http://www.johnlegend.com/us/news_front