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Love In the Future

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Album Review

This is John Legend's first solo studio album since 2008's Evolver. Between the two releases, he recorded the Grammy-winning Wake Up! with the Roots, scored a gold single with "Tonight (Best You Ever Had)" (from the Think Like a Man soundtrack), was featured on a couple albums' worth of songs by other artists, and somehow managed to be deeply involved in philanthropy. He also got engaged. Although he proposed to model Chrissy Teigen five years after meeting her, much of Love in the Future seems drawn from a romance that was quicker to bloom. "The Beginning…" sets a tone of urgency with a scene from the day after their first night spent together. Legend sings with certitude, "Pick some names, boy or girl/Then we'll change, change the world." That sense of blissful urgency — of seizing the moment, getting lost, and knowing that the future is set — is belied in the pacing. Even the album's standard 16-track edition meanders at a crawling pace. It's broken up by the occasional soaring arrangement or some hypnotically clanking/pinging percussion, as heard on highlight "Made to Love," which resembles a latter-day Moby collaboration with distant handclapping, spooky background vocals, and a sample from Lil Louis' noisy house classic "Video Clash." This is a heavy, laboriously made set of songs. The list of producers alone includes Hit-Boy, Bink, 88 Keys, the Runners, Doc McKinney, Q-Tip, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Kanye West, and Dave Tozer pile on as co-producers and co-executive producers. Perhaps they ensured that the whole album would have its dramatic, slightly eerie tone; even the covers of Bobby Caldwell's "Open Your Eyes" and Anita Baker's "Angel" are a little uneasy. That level of sonic indulgence seems like it should be incompatible with an artist who is, essentially, a piano man, but Love in the Future is among Legend's best work, made for couples who are into one another for the long term while feeling a little daring and crazy.

Customer Reviews

Very impressed

I like what I hear from this album. Sounds like mature love music has returned. Bless you brother John Legend.


Best R&B album of the year.

Super Psyched!

I don't think I've ever been so excited for a album to come out. Love you John. #TeamLegend. 🎶🎧🎼


Born: December 28, 1978 in Springfield, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Grammy- and Academy Award-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...
Full Bio
Love In the Future, John Legend
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Customer Ratings