Amongst all the magnificent future-R&B stars that exist today, John Legend has always seemed a bit conservative. His vocal chords are incredible, and his production has always been smooth (albeit sometimes too much so), but he has never had that special “something” that allows an artist to break into the mainstream. However, mainstream success is exactly what Legend has his eyes on with Love Me Now, and the song is strong enough that he just might find it.
Legend has never been one for digitised, or overtly poppy production, but that’s exactly what Love Me Now opens with. The clunking piano that opens the track sounds distinctly like it belongs in a mellow dance song, imitating a synth arpeggio. The track relies on the push-pull dynamics of EDM, in spite of its relatively restrained sonics. It uses a lot less, but the effect is the same, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see this as a fantastic dance song for weddings, and the like.
The song’s biggest strength, as always, is Legend himself. His singing is typically great, and he avoids the too-perfect sheen that often impairs his work. Whilst the singing is excellent, it’s his lyrics, and the sentiment behind them that make the track works. The song is about living in the moment and embracing love, and the main hook is legitimately swoon-worthy – “I don’t know who’s gonna kiss you when I’m gone / so I’m gonna love you now, like it’s all I have”. Seeing Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen on the cover art also adds a nice layer of honesty and personality to the song.
Love songs are John Legend’s bread and butter, and Love Me Now is one of his best. He’s certainly missed the EDM wave by a few years, but this track is mellow enough that he might be able to catch the tropical house one. Whether or not Love Me Now turns out to be Legend’s mainstream breakout or not, it stands as an impressive piece of pop craftsmanship nonetheless.