John Legend Evolver
Rolling Stone: 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "With piano-flecked soul, lite funk and reggae, EVOLVER's tunes and arrangements are as impeccable as the cut of Legend's suits."
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- Released: October 28, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sony
Rolling Stone - p.1253.5 stars out of 5 -- "With piano-flecked soul, lite funk and reggae, EVOLVER's tunes and arrangements are as impeccable as the cut of Legend's suits."
Spin - p.1063 stars out of 5 -- "EVOLVER proves that Legend remains one of R&B's most forward-looking craftsmen."
Entertainment Weekly - p.62"Legend is still at his best when he plays to his voice's strengths with clean-cut ballads like 'Everybody Knows.'" -- Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1043 stars out of 5 -- "When he moves away from the more straightforward ballads, it's obvious that Legend's maverick side is still intact....He's reaching out to address more universal themes, and finding the music to match."
- $1.29 on iTunes1.Good Morning Interlude
- $1.29 on iTunes2.Green Light
- 3.It's Over
- $1.29 on iTunes4.Everybody Knows
- $1.29 on iTunes5.No Other Love
- $1.29 on iTunes6.Cross The Line
- $1.29 on iTunes7.This Time
- $1.29 on iTunes8.There With You
- $1.29 on iTunes9.Good Monring
- $1.29 on iTunes10.I Love, You Love
- $1.29 on iTunes11.If You're Out There
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Personnel: John Legend (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards, background vocals); Estelle, Brandy (vocals, background vocals); Agape International Choir, Kanye West, Andr‚ 3000 (vocals); Lisa Michelle Tallamentes, Windy Biealich, Angel Travis, Pam Dearing, Elle Perrault, Marianne Lewis, Sayida Peprah, Rev. Diana Presley, La Donna Bennett, Joy Bella Heilig (soprano); Teddy Bass, Toyian Forte, Skip Jennings, Jason Powell, Jonnie Acuna, Raymond Davis (tenor); Ron Blair, Paul Harburger, Rikk Galvin, Ramon Pratt, John Meeks, Ian Cousineau, Charles "Spud" Murphy (bass voice); Malay (various instruments, keyboards, programming); Dave Tozer (guitar, guitars, keyboards); Tim Pierce, Trevor Horn (guitar, guitars); Mitchum Chin (guitar, keyboards); Joshua "Trumpet Solo" Lopez, Tomi Martin, Sharief Hobley (guitar); Joel Pargman, Lorenz Gamma, Irina Voloshina, Katia Popov, Robin Olson, Jennie Levin, Alan Grunfeld, Neil Samples, Nina Evtuhov, Marc Sazer, Tamara Hatwan , Charles Parker , Julie Rogers, Robert Martin , Sid Page, Bruce Dukov, Igor Szwec, Lesa Terry, Shalini Vijayan, Neel Hammond, Emma Kummrow, Darius Campo, Olga Konopelsky, Gregory Teperman (violin); Alexandra Leem, Shawn Mann, Carole Castillo, Carolyn Riley, Kate Reddish, Piotr Jandula, Davis A. Barnett, Alma Fernandez (viola); Giovanna Clayton , Larry Corbett, Jennie Lorenzo, Cecilia Tsan, Victor Lawrence (cello); Kebbi Williams (tenor saxophone); Jason Freeman , Jerry Freeman (trumpet); Paul Klintworth, Dana Kelley, James Thatcher, Jenny Kim (French horn); Richard L. Owens (trombone); Dean Fraser, Hornz Unlimited (horns); Eugene "Man Man" Roberts (keyboards, vocoder, programming); Stephen Tirpak, Jamie Muhoberac, Shannon Sanders (keyboards); Drew Dembowski, Bruce Morgenthaler, Pete Donnelly, Sue Raney, Ann Atkinson (bass instrument); Pharrell Williams (percussion, background vocals); Luis Jardim (percussion); Dwayne Chin-Quee (programming); Jessyca Wilson, Lenesha Randolph, Terrence Smith , Christopher Breaux , Candice Anderson (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Alex Venguer; Manny Marroquin; Alex Yenguen; Jean-Marie Horvat; Kevin KD Davis; Mike "Hitman" Wilson.
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA; Chalice Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Criteria Hit Factory, Miami, FL; Ethernet Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Grafton Studios, Kingston, Jamaica; Ground Breaking Studios, Atlanta, GA; Legacy Recording Studios, New York, NY; Patchwerk Studios, Atlanta, GA; Ravenite Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sarm London, England; The Carrington House, Atlanta, GA; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA; Wine-O-Cellar, College Park, GA.
Author: John Legend.
Photographers: Nabil Elderkin; Vincent Peters.
Arrangers: Stephen Tirpak; Dave Tozer; Dwayne Chin-Quee ; Larry Gold; Nick Ingman; Pete Murray .
The third full-length from John Legend finds the neo-soul singer-songwriter mixing it up a bit. Whereas its predecessor, the excellent ONCE AGAIN, stayed the course of smooth yet passionate retro-themed R&B, EVOLVER experiments with different sounds and styles. The lead single, "Green Light," with its amped-up programmed beat, synths, and cameo from Andre 3000, sounds more like a 21st-century club jam than an old-school throwback. Reggae, ballads, adult contemporary, and digitized contemporary R&B all make their way into the album's diverse musical stew. Whether it's the mellow, low-key funk of "It's Over," the synth-pop of "Satisfaction" (one can imagine the song being performed by Depeche Mode), or the guest spots from Brandy, Estelle, and Kanye West, EVOLVER keeps the listener guessing. It may not have the consistency of Legend's first two releases, but its cornucopia of interesting sounds and directions offer something for everyone.
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