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Live from Philadelphia

John Legend

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Album Review

In the U.S., the CD and CD/DVD versions of Live from Philadelphia were Target exclusives, though the DVD-only version was available elsewhere. The recording offers a fairly even balance between John Legend's studio albums to that point — 2004's Get Lifted and 2006's Save Room — and there's the high level of showmanship for which Legend has become known. He did, after all, pay some major dues as a performer prior to signing with a major. Legend's voice is a little rough, though it's really no hindrance, unless you can tolerate nothing short of precision. Some fun curve balls are thrown into the set, like a cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" and the clever incorporation of the Blackbyrds' "Rock Creek Park" within "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)," which fits both musically and thematically. A take on the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," however, is more like a temporary derailment.

Biography

Born: 28 December 1978 in Springfield, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Grammy-winning R&B singer, songwriter, and pianist John Legend, born John Stephens, was a child prodigy who grew up in Ohio, where he began singing gospel and playing piano at the age of five. Stephens left his home state at 16 to attend college in Philadelphia, and it was there that he first found a larger audience. Not yet out of his teens, Stephens was tapped to play piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything," a Top 40 hit for the Fugees member's 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn...
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Live from Philadelphia, John Legend
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