All In A Name
Tales of infidelity and failed love have never sounded as sweet as they do on John Legendâ€šÃ„Ã´s Get Lifted. Legend has stepped up from singing hooks for Kanye West and Alicia Keys, and the only unanswered question is why he was in the minors for so long.Legend recruited an all-star team of co-producers and writers to work on some of his tracks, including Kanye West and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Their Midas touch is apparent on these upbeat tracks, but throughout the disc itâ€šÃ„Ã´s Legendâ€šÃ„Ã´s soulful voice that commands attention.
Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s slightly jarring to hear some of the lyrics Legend delivers. On â€šÃ„ÃºNumber One,â€šÃ„Ã¹ Legend opens inauspiciously with â€šÃ„ÃºNow you canâ€šÃ„Ã´t say I donâ€šÃ„Ã´t love you/Just because I cheat on you/Cuz you canâ€šÃ„Ã´t see all I do/To keep you from knowinâ€šÃ„Ã´ the things I do.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The gospel tone Legend perfects seems incongruous here. But coupled with the other tracks that feature womanizing at their core, the songs sound like honest explorations of the dramas Legend has experienced.
Snoop Dogg also guests on one track, but the most noteworthy guest stars are actually unknowns. Legendâ€šÃ„Ã´s family sings with him on â€šÃ„ÃºIt Donâ€šÃ„Ã´t Have To Change,â€šÃ„Ã¹ providing the albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s true highlight. Artists frequently credit their families with instilling in them an appreciation for music â€šÃ„Ã¬ Legend proves his gratitude while offering a glimpse of the talent pool from which he emerged.
Though the middle of the album lacks the energy first felt, the last two tracks end strong, and Legendâ€šÃ„Ã´s mastery of R&B vocals never wavers. When itâ€šÃ„Ã´s just him at the piano it becomes clear why he has earned comparisons to Hall-of-Famer Stevie Wonder.