So…John Legend and Anthony Hamilton are pretty much tied for the title of my favorite Male R&B singer right now, with Robin Thicke running third. All three gentlemen have albums being released this fall. While Thicke is first up to bat with the single “Magic” and the upcoming album “Something Else”, Legend is next out of the gate, and “Green Light” is yet another curveball from an artist who apparently enjoys keeping his listeners on their toes.
While his debut album, “Get Lifted”, essentially posted him as the male version of Alicia Keys, his impressive follow up “Once Again” (which ran neck & neck with John Mayer’s “Continuum” as the best record released in 2006) was a more organic affair. He enlisted producer Craig Street (best known for his work with alt-jazz diva Cassandra Wilson), and channeled everyone from Marvin Gaye (on “Slow Dance”) to Jeff Buckley (on “Show Me”). For his third album, “Evolver”, Legend takes us to the clubs with the first single, “Green Light”
On this peppy dance track, Legend’s joined by OutKast’s Andre 3000, whose guest verse is just the latest in a series of ridiculously proficient cameos that has anyone with sense (i.e. those who are not blinded by the Lil’ Wayne hype) calling Dre the most talented emcee working today (he’s certainly the most consistent, who else from the class of ’93-’94 can say they’re a *better* emcee than they were at the outset of their career?).
The video’s nothing special, but the song proves that Legend can hit the club without selling his ass and trying to be Ne-Yo or Chris Brown (no disrespect to either, but Legend is obviously in a MUCH different lane).
“Evolver” is definitely on my list of must-have albums for the 4th quarter of 2008, and this song and video only increases my anticipation.