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Evolver

John Legend

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Album Review

Evolver is more clever and appealing as an album title than Dabbler, yet the latter would be much more emblematic of John Legend's third studio album. Legend is up-front about his lane changes, which begin with the album's lead single, "Green Light," decked out in giddy synthesizers à la Paul McCartney's "A Wonderful Christmas Time" (or, OK, the glitziest part of Kanye West's "Flashing Lights") while benefiting from André 3000's off-the-cuff appearance. Following it is "It's Over," a relatively characteristic breakup song that continues to set the tone for the album's anything-goes nature. There's a show-stopping ballad, a reggae-flavored Estelle feature, flashes of tropical lushness, a couple throwbacks to soul-informed soft rock, a track full of chunky synth riffs, a brave topical message song to close, and a couple other diversions throughout. Legend often sounds like he is occupied by the satisfaction that comes with hearing what his vocal cords are capable of achieving.

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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Evolver, John Legend
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