John Legend is rightfully spending his third week atop the R&B charts this week with his debut album Get Lifted. The album showcases Legend as a traditional soul singer with a voice so purely smooth that he completely enhances the beautiful piano-flavored Kanye West production with just enough hip hop to save it from sounding like a real throwback to the 70s. In a word, the album is refreshing.
Get Lifted is nearly unbelievable in that its audible from start to finish. Legend’s perfect blend of natural but trained talent shines on every single track of the album, taking the listener through a wide range of emotions that are conveyed in such a way that even if the message of the song is questionable, the listener can’t help but bob their head.
It beautifully opens with the Prelude which basically sets the tone for the rest of the album with Legend asking listeners to "just relax." It continues through "Let’s Get Lifted," which is the beginning of all the wonderfulness that is this album. "Used to Love U" was the first song released from the album, which statistically was not a smash hit, but was still popular and a good indicator of what was to come. "Alright" gives Legend’s voice a different sound, as confidentially cocky and shines as one of the best songs on the album.
"She Don’t Have To Know" and "Number One" both are instances of Legend’s talent overpowering the actual message of the song. Kanye West actually enhances "Number One," which is more that can be said for the guest appearance on the following song, "I Can Change," which brings us to the first and only flaw on the album: the appearance of Snoop Dogg.
"Ordinary People" is the current single which is a ballad that features only Legend and his piano. "Stay With You" is arguably the most endearing song on the album and the remaining songs, "Let’s Get Lifted Again" "So High" "Refuge" "It Don’t Have to Change" are all equally as brilliant. "Live It Up" is completely infectious and ends the album perfectly.
Legend has an extraordinary gift for not only the obvious, but for sounding so raw that everything he says seems completely personal and believable. The album is so real and relatable that even if the listener is not experiencing the same emotions as Legend, it will make them wish that they did or take them back to a time when they did. This album is worth every penny that it costs. It’s the best male R&B album in years.