I am a huge fan of the neo-soul movement, and John Legend is one of my favorite artists of the genre. He is an amazing pianist, songwriter, and singer. His accomplishments include 6 Grammy Awards so far! If you aren’t familiar with John Legend but you like soul, gospel, blues, or r&b; music, here are 10 tracks you should definitely listen to. If you are already a fan of John Legend, he has released a new album (super excited about that) and some of these tracks are new for even an avid follower. These aren’t necessarily in any order, I couldn’t possibly say any one is better than the others!
1. “No Other Love” This track is on the new Evolver album, released this past October (2008). This song is very upbeat, with reggae like music and the vocals of Estelle finish off a hip-swaying, passionate, fun track.
2. “Coming Home” from the Once Again album. This track is about being away from everything you know and love, and what happens you come back to it all. It reminds me of all of our soldiers overseas, and brought me to tears the first time I heard it. With a brother who has served in the Middle East twice and lots of friends overseas in the military right now, it really strikes a chord with anyone who is missing anyone they used to see often. A few lines from the song:
“I go to sleep and feel your spirit next to me
I’ll make it home again
I pray you’ll fall in love again
Just say you’ll entertain the possibility
I learned enough from my mistakes
Learned from all I didn’t say
Won’t you wait for me”
3. “Save Room,” Once Again. This is one of the first singles that really got Legend some air time on the music video channels and airwaves everywhere. With piano and vocals true to Legend’s style, any soul, r&b;, or even pop fan would enjoy it.
4. “Ordinary People” Get Lifted. This track was the second single from the album Get Lifted and won Legend a Grammy Award. The lyrics are beautiful, real, and romantic in a real-life sort of way. The track is almost solely piano and vocals, and any fan of acapella tracks or acoustic type soul music will love it.
5. “Save Room” was the first single from Legend’s second album, Once Again. John wanted to show listeners that he was a strong vocalist, not just a pianist, so this song is absent of piano to focus on his voice. It works quite well for him, and was nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award.
6. “Heaven” won John Legend another Grammy for Best Male R&B; Vocal Performance. There is also a remix version featuring Pusha T that I really like, and the instrumental is available for downloads on iTunes if you’re a performer yourself!
7. “Stereo” from the Once Again album. This is an upbeat track, leaning towards pop music, and I love the vocals (as always) on this one. “Her favorite colors are pink, platinum, and gold” is a line from the song, it’s about a girl who loves the music, but not Legend for himself. “She only loves in stereo,” he says.
8. “I Love, You Love” from the new Evolver album. The music behind this track is simple, guitar and vocals. Very earthy, natural, and comforting. The lyrics to this song are so beautiful, i had to give you all a taste from a few lines: “I’ll give in completely, hearts break so easy/I know, believe me, oh I’ve tried/But my arms can hold you, my kiss can console you/I’ll come and love you tonight.”
9. “Green Light” featuring Andre 3000 of Outkast, again on the Evolver album. “Green Light” is John Legend’s newest single, and it’s a hit on the radio airwaves for sure. I love Andre 3000 (I’m from Tennessee so I’m a huge fan of southern rap, check out my articles on hip hop to find out) so I like any song featuring Andre. I wasn’t really feeling this song at first, but it’s grown on me. It’s a fun shake your botty type of track! I haven’t been to a club in ages, but if I go anytime soon, I’d definitely request this track and make a fool out of myself gettin down on the floor. 🙂
10. “PDA (We Just Don’t Care)” from the Once Again album. This is another popular single from Legend, and the popularity of it was astounding at the time. If you think you haven’t heard of John Legend, I can bet my bottom dollar you heard this song at some point on the radio.