John Legend, Get Lifted

In the past couple of years you have probably heard John Legend and didn't even realize it. Legend has collaborated with some of the industry's most influential hip-hop artists, including Lauryn Hill, Common, Jay-Z, and more recently, the Grammy Award-winning Kanye West. But on Legend's inspiring debut, Get Lifted, he has managed to create his own identity by bridging the gap between neo-soul and hip-hop. Highlights include the body movin' title track and first single, "Used To Love U," which showcases some of Legend's lyrical wit: "Maybe it's me, maybe I bore you/ No no, it's my fault, cos I can't afford you/ Maybe baby, Puffy, Jay-Z/ Would be better for you." Still, Legend acknowledges his roots with his smooth soul voice, timeless piano and the underlying power of a church choir on simple highlights "It Don't Have To Change" and "Ordinary People." Get Lifted is a step forward for Legend's career, giving soul an edge that younger listeners will relate to, while still respecting what the genre stands for — clever melodies and hooks — stirring vocals, and enduring music. (Sony Urban Music/Columbia) Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

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