On Friday, September 9th, John Legend released his long anticipated album, LEGEND. The album contains 24 tracks that span several genres and portray several emotions. The album is the culmination of being a musician for years and knowing how to experiment to produce something new and fresh. Some of the big takeaway tracks from this album are “Dope,” “Strawberry Blush” and “Nervous.”
“Dope,” Featuring JID
“Dope” is the third track on the album and was previously released as a single on May 18th, 2022. The track features unmatched energy. This song was designed for summer, containing an upbeat rhythm with a light synth accompanying it.
Not only is the beat playful and energetic, but so are the lyrics. The song discusses how a girl is “Dope.” The lyrics praise every aspect of her, saying she is not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. The feature adds a layer to the song I did not expect to hear. JID raps about how this girl is so gorgeous that he is in physical agony. Although this is a theme we tend to hear a lot in R&B (Legend’s dominant genre), it is an interesting juxtaposition from the previous lyrics sung by Legend.
“Strawberry Blush,” Featuring The Free Nationals
Another stand-out song that comes early in the track is “Strawberry Blush.” This song is placed right after “Dope,” changing the album’s aura slightly. The song takes a different approach than “Dope” does, and it pays off well.
The song takes a more funk-based approach, using very distinct drums at a slower pace, as well as a subtle violin to add flair. Synths are also used in the background to give a feeling of free-flowing motion throughout the song. The lyrics in the song discuss, more or less, the same thing as “Dope”. While the lyrics may lack originality, Legend’s execution makes the difference. His silky voice carries the words well and gives the song the last thing it needs to stand on its own.
The fourteenth track on the album is titled “Nervous.” The song takes a slower approach and starts the change in theme for the songs to come. The song is accompanied by gorgeous piano, as well as some synths to match it. The beat and tambourine create a sense of poise for the song, which helps carry the chorus.
The lyrics for this song, of course, discuss a girl of interest to the singer. It takes a more sincere approach when talking about how he feels for this girl, saying she makes him feel excited about the future and alive. Legend’s voice, yet again, carries the lyrics to new heights. You can tell that the singer truly wants to make a connection with this girl. The song’s main premise is stating the girl still makes him nervous any time she walks into a room.
The entire album is able to convey a wide variety of emotions and vibes, giving the listener a more diverse listening experience. Each song may share certain lyrical similarities, but each has an intricate and creative way of expressing feelings through them. The album as a whole is fantastic and is a testament to how well Legend can adapt to the music of the times.