If you didn’t know, John Legend, reigning king of hip-hop soul, is getting married. And what better way to tell the world than by writing an album entirely devoted to his impending nuptials. Love In The Future “kind of embraces where I’m heading in life,” Legend has said. “It’s the beginning of something new.”
John Legend has always been smooth. He was the type of artist who would cheat on you, but then his apology would be so incredibly suave that you wouldn’t even care. Sure, he’d do it again, but you’d worry about that later; he managed to make even trifling love sound sexy. “We can argue and fuss all night / But I propose that we go to the flo’ and just slow dance.” Well, okay.
Now, however, at the ripe old age of 34, Legend has grown up, and instead of being aroused by danger and uncertainty he’s leaping headlong into domestic living. His piercing vocals sing of loving “all your perfect imperfections” in All Of Me, and of predestined relationships in Made To Love. He acknowledges his past in The Beginning, but says he’s done with that now: “Soon as I saw you, baby, I had plans / Plans to do it ‘til we have a baby”, and he’s over-the-moon with commitment in Who Do We Think We Are, whilst Rick Ross raps about his “jewels dripping on my Timbalands”, “pink champagne, black Rolls Royces” and “eggplant double breasted suits from Tom Ford”, whatever that has to do with romance.
Legend’s fourth solo album is pretty consistent in style throughout. The songs are pretty much all slow jams, with Legend crooning and serenading over the top of the accompaniment of his exceptional piano skills and often simple strings, such as Hold On Longer. There are some more upbeat tracks with percussion and chanting in the background, such as Save The Night, but Legend never strays far from his signature vocals and piano. In that respect, Love In The Future can get a bit monotonous, but if you take this album for what it is (a profession of love and a soundtrack to love making), it does its job perfectly.
Love In The Future is still sexy R’n’B, but now it’s date night music rather than debauchery. John Legend’s soon-to-be wife, Chrissy Teigen, recently said she never wears underwear. I don’t blame her though; underwear would fly away with just one listen of this album. Sensual as ever, this album imitates life with Legend realizing that though the future may not be as exciting as the past, it’s more stable and deep down, who doesn’t want stability, especially when it comes in the form of a supermodel.
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