Promising start with gospel roots

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 May, 2005, 12:00am

John Legend is a rising star in the R&B scene who has been billed as a male Alicia Keys. His debut album Get Lifted stormed the US charts and has sold almost 115, 000 copies in the first week.

The 25-year-old, Ohio-born musician began playing classical and gospel piano at four. He was the first artist signed by mega-hit producer and rapper Kanye West.

Legend co-produced and co-wrote all the songs in this album. The music is rooted in soul and gospel but is spiced up with hip-hop. The album kicks off with Prelude, a piano-based song showing Legend's musical flair. The other songs meander from upbeat R&B (She Don't Have to Know) and hip-hop (I Can Change featuring Snoop Dogg) to groovy ballad (Ordinary People).

The songs are well-structured. In many cases, the ending of one song overlaps the beginning of the next, making the transitions smooth.

It's too early to tell if Legend will become a legend, but he has made a promising start.