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John Legend 

Once Again


John Legend
Once Again
(Good Music/Sony Urban)
Even if it didn’t have Kanye West listed as executive producer, Once Again would be a substantial record. The showcase here remains John Legend’s vocals, which often sound like labelmate Jarvis Church or Gerald Eaton of the Philsopher Kings. Throughout Once Again Legend reanimates the R&B tradition laid down in the late ’60s and early ’70s within a modern musical milieu. To start, “Save Room” opens the record with killer soul-pop. He reaches peaks again and again—“Show Me,” “Where Did My Baby Go”—and stumbles only once (the R.Kelly-like “Another Again”). As Legend lives on, he’ll do some impressive things and we’ll all forget that D’Angelo never made it back.
—Sean Flinn

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