Confession: I have a weak spot for R&B, especially sung by a man with a smooth, sexy voice.
John Legend certainly fits that bill. I used to listen to a lot of his music but hadn’t heard his most recent albums.
Until I read this article from Die Zeit; it’s a review of Legend’s newest album, “Love in the Future,” and it gushed enough that I immediately started listening to the album on Spotify.
It’s been hard to turn it off. I fell even more in love when I heard the song “All of Me.” Then I found the video of John Legend singing said song Live on Letterman. Just wow. Watch it yourself and see if you don’t melt:
Yes, Legend has a super sexy voice and isn’t bad looking. But he is also an actual musician — you can’t say that about every artist these days — who plays the piano in addition to singing (Legend’s closest female equivalent would probably be Alicia Keys, who I also admire). Sure, as the Die Zeit review points out, Legend still employs plenty of electronics/computer-generated effects in his tunes, but he has a nice balance of electro-R&B and piano ballads.
On that more electronic side, “Made to Love” is a catchy, futuristic, yet still romantic song (albeit the video is a bit strange):
Conclusion: while R&B can be cheesy and unimaginative, and in recent years has leaned more toward the sounds of pop, John Legend still keeps it real with his genuine musicianship and originality.
What’s your take on R&B?
- Music, previously: Ukrainian Tunes: “Карпати” (“Carpathians”) and Ukrainian Tunes: Бумбокс, “Віддаю” (Boombox, Viddayu) and Desert Island Discs and колядки