Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dear Ex-Girlfriend: You Can Do Better

Dear Ex-Girlfriend,


You can do better. I was trying to think of a more gentle way to say it but I don't have to, I'm not your man. Granted, enough time has passed that I am in no way upset that you are seeing someone new (nor is it my place to be so). Honestly, I'm just happy that you aren't dwelling on the past. It's not good for you. But then again, neither is your new dude.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jackson gives up Neverland ranch | BBC NEWS

Synopsis:(BBC) - Pop star Michael Jackson has lost ownership of his Neverland ranch in California after transferring the deeds to a company he has a share in.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Will…

President-Elect Obama

(CNN) -- Barack Obama told supporters that "change has come to America" as he claimed victory in a historic presidential election.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

John Legend: Evolver

John Legend: EvolverMay I throw an ‘R’ before that album title, sir?

John Legend’s new album Evolver is what I like to refer to as mainstream soul. In fact, John Legend in general defines mainstream soul. He draws upon all that greatness that could make an artist iconic, but for some reason it never quite manifests into new greatness. Thus every time I hear about a new John Legend album coming out I get excited, but when I go to listen to said album I lower my expectations as not to over-hype myself. Somewhat like an M. Night Shyamalan film, there are things to appreciate if you skew your expectations, but don’t expect to be blown away.

The track most noted already is “Green Light” which you may have heard over the last few months on the radio or other such outlets. A commendable effort to "get out from behind the piano” for which Legend has expressed a desire. Another critic would go into something about an artist having to grow and reflect where they are through their music, but really… John is bored. Simple as that. It’s understandable, remember when Alicia Keys went through the same thing. “Green Light” is definitely a new side of Legend. A side which everyone (listeners and critics alike) seem to welcome, especially since Andre 3000 is in tow sprucing up the effort. So with a grandiose title like “Evolver” and lead off single vastly straying from the Legend we all know and … tolerate (hoping to love one day), I let my curiosity run through the new tunes to see what’s new with I Am Legend.

Though the intro raised my hopes, halfway through the album I’d say it is hard to even describe the growth in this album. With his last album I could say “Oh, John Legend is doing this Black Tony Bennett thing…” and back it up with tracks like “Save Room”, “Where Did My Baby Go” and “Slow Dance”. Once Again brilliantly drew in the lucrative Norah Jones crowd while not alienating the 'G.O.O.D. Music' fans. Evolver would be an attempt at the reverse. However, I don’t know that this album will succeed in retaining the baby-boomers (unless they start midway through) and, speaking for the next generation, the last thing I want to hear is John Legend taking production cues from T-Pain (”Cross The Line”). The sing-song chorus of “Everybody Knows” while best suited for the audience participation part of a live show is otherwise forgettable. As well, the artist features on the album are pretty superfluous in the scheme of the album as a whole. Essentially, John Legend exemplifies the rule about why you only feature someone more famous than yourself (though, Estelle holds her own on “No Other Love” but I still stand by the comment - let that marinate).

The second half of the album takes a dramatic turn for the better. If each of his albums contain an “Ordinary People” ballad, then “This Time” is Evolver’s reincarnation just as “Again” was Once Again’s. I figure the titles of these emotive croonings progress predictably so expect a tune called "Tomorrow" on the next LP. “This Time” fails to debunk the fact that lightening never strikes the same place thrice. Even still, it stands among the stronger cuts from Legend’s third LP with G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia. “Satisfaction” harbors a more modern swagger in its production and almost does all of the work necessary to liven up Legend. It should definitely be in the running to be a single. Meanwhile, “Take Me Away” and “Good Morning” revisit that niche sound in which Legend excels and sophistication that divides him from the mainstream R&B personalities though leaving him slightly more noticed than his soul contemporaries (and I’m sure his association with Kanye West does not dim the spotlight).

In summation, Evolver probably works best if you see John Legend in concert. He really must be tired of sitting at the piano and the tunes here can at least let him stand behind a microphone (even walk around). However, the album overall may be slightly underwhelming if hoping for more than the John Legend you’ve heard before. Though why shouldn’t it be? Same artist, different day… er album. As previously affirmed, John Legend is mainstream soul possibly aspiring down to R&B. While lacking those few undeniable hit songs you can’t help hearing on repeat, Evolver at least holds you over until that next John Legend album for which I’m already starting to be over-hyped.

Courtesy of | John Legend: Evolver