After a short detour into themes of social awareness and consciousness on his last album Wake Up, John Legend is back with a brand new album featuring his signature love songs. Titled Love in the Future, many of the tracks seem to be inspired by his own relationship with then-fiancé Christine Teigen, whom he married shortly after the release of the album.
‘Who Do We Think We Are’, the first single off the album is about living life to the fullest according to Legend. What is exciting about the track is the juxtaposition of various elements – sampling of old-school tracks, spoken segment, and featuring a rap by Rick Ross – which combines to give the track a vintage feel, whilst managing to stay current.
On ‘Made to Love’, Legend experiments with tribal influences and synthesisers, and also has Kimbra on background vocals doing some interesting ad libs. That is probably as experimental as he gets on the album. The rest of the album is in much safer territory, somewhat like his latest single ‘All of Me’, featuring just his soulful vocals and the piano. Unlike the other tracks though, ‘All of Me’ is a hauntingly beautiful ballad with Legend in his element, and with just the right amount of rawness and emotions.
Legend also covers Bobby Caldwell’s ‘Open Your Eyes’ and duets with Seal on the track ‘We Loved It’. Legend could probably have better reinterpreted the song for the former, rather than having it sound like what contestants of music reality TV would normally do.
Overall, this album is brimming with optimism about future, and of course, love. The downside to this album is that it could get quite sluggish somewhere towards the middle because of tracks of similar tempo and music arrangements. However, if you manage to look (or listen) beyond that, this could be an album that is worth listening for some time, though it still falls short of the expectations that were set by Get Lifted, his debut album.