Review Summary: Get Lifted is consistent, perhaps too consistent.
Amongst his soulful contemporaries, John Legend isn’t incredibly special, a bit plainer and, at least before his groovy and danceable third album as of recent, more serious than such companions as Ne-Yo. Legend, however, has a handle on something an artist like his contemporaries can’t, a little something called consistency. John Legend’s debut Get Lifted
is a solid, strong soul record that indulges in hip hop-esqe beats a la Kanye West, and poppy, catchy hooks, and only starts the career of a man whose records vary little in quality, with all of them keeping the same premise of bare greatness and consistency and nothing else.
What highlights his album is John Legend’s slender, smooth voice that convincingly offers both slender bedroom bouncers and melancholy ballads and manages to draw the listener in. His hooks, as well, manage to draw the listener in both with his drawing crooning and sincerity. “She Don’t Have To Know” is John Legend’s voice at its purest, mixing ballad-esqe mellow guitars with a certain funk bounce, and John mixes the topic of keeping a secret with an oddly upbeat tempo, creating a certain confusing aura that would usually plague an R&B artist, but John seems to know what he’s doing. “Ordinary People” mixes John’s soulful, tuneful piano playing as a minimal background for John’s talk of the reality of relationships. Other highlights include accoustic pop influences of “Stay With You”, the building nature of the soulful epic “So High”, and the silky introduction to Legend’s piano chops in the form of “Let’s Get Lifted”.
However, Get Lifted
blends too much in its own deep, silky, smooth like a ice cream sundae sound, and other than previously mentioned highlights not much of it stands out on its own. But other than the ill-conceived Snoop Dogg-featured “I Can Change”, Get Lifted
preaches volumes of consistency in modern R&B, and John Legend only continues this later on in his records. Awe-some soul vocals, occasionally drawling albeit simplistic piano playing, and poppy/rap-ish structures, Get Lifted
stands as a great opus for John Legend.