1. John Legend – Love In The Future
Released under G.O.O.D. Music via Columbia Records (Buy Here)
And coming in at number one is my mans John Legend with his masterpiece of an album, Love In The Future. Uncommon of R&B albums in 2013, John Legend’s album was actually about being in love, and my lord did he create a work of art. Love In The Future featured two executive producers, Dave Tozer & Kanye West, and the two crafted a mature yet commercially acceptable sound for Legend to work his magical pipes (pause if necessary) on. While only Rick Ross, Stacey Barthe, and Seal made appearances on the album vocally, nearly any producer with a track-record produced on the album. Pharrell, Hit-Boy, 88 Keys, Q-Tip, Bink!, Doc McKinney, Da Internz, The Runners, and I could keep going on. There’s a reason why this is nominated and should be winning the award for R&B album of 2014 at the Grammy’s.
Beyond John Legend’s pen game and obviously breath-taking vocals, the best thing about Love In The Future is that it doesn’t drag on. The standard edition of the album feature 16 tracks that aren’t even 50 minutes long together, and if you add in the four bonus tracks, it’s just barely over an hour for 20 un-skippable tracks. Nobody’s making albums like that these days.
While I don’t feel like I should be pointing out standout records from the album, ’cause I mean, I think every single track is a standout cut, but his ballad dedicated to his wife Chrissy Teigen ‘All Of Me’ is a cemented classic in his discography. I can’t say it’s better than ‘Ordinary People’, but man, it’s close.
While John Legend’s production seemed more like a throwback to the past rather than the future (not in a bad way), his song-writing and vocal performance showcased what love in the future is going to sound like, and it sure as hell sounds good to me.