Feature

John Legend: Love in the Future

John Legend writes love ballads, then trusts his “gorgeous, if curiously weathered, croon” to get them across.

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John Legend is from the old school, “maybe more than any other R&B star today,” said Sean Daly in the Tampa Bay Times. While Robin Thicke and Bruno Mars sit atop the charts with sounds best described as retro soul, Legend is “a retroist with a twist”: Instead of mimicking Marvin Gaye or Al Green, the 34-year-old singer-pianist conjures the cool vibe of those icons naturally. He writes love ballads, then trusts his “gorgeous, if curiously weathered, croon” to get them across. On his first solo album since 2008’s Evolver, the multiple Grammy winner has also taken up residence in the land of domestic comfort: By the time you read this, he could be married to his fiancée, model Chrissy Teigen. The new John Legend “peddles wedding songs,” nothing riskier, said Clover Hope in Vibe. “This is date-night music” for longtime couples—“not always exciting” and “dull, even from the outside,” but beautiful when you’re really paying attention. Legend remains “love’s ultimate salesman.” Here, he makes a very persuasive case for everlasting commitment.

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