'Love in the Future' Review: John Legend's New Album is Classically Sexy


John Legend has always been a class act, using old-fashioned sensuality to sell his image rather than raunchy sex like some of his contemporaries. His latest album, officially dropping September 3, is no exception. 

Love in the Future’s single, “Made to Love” produced by Kanye West and released two weeks ago, should be called, “Making Love” because that’s exactly what it inspires listeners to do. Don’t let the Chevy add cheapen this affect for you.

As Legend said, “I thought it was an exciting thing to support this classic brand being reinvigorated.” Sure, he’s making a pretty penny, but he’s not just talking about cars here.  I think he’s talking about reviving Soul music. Money, cars and Soul. Can you think of anything sexier?

At 34-years-old, Legend’s success is basically unwavering. He experienced only a slight dip when his collaboration with the Roots, Wake Up! released in 2010 and never broke No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

The latest solo album, Evolver (2008), debuted at No. 4. Although he’s working under the production of Kanye West and Dave Tozer again, Legend is confident that Love in the Future is offers “fresh collaborations”.  He also describes this new release as a development of his first two and most successful albums, Get Lifted (2004) and Once Again (2006), which hit No. 4 and No. 3, respectively. Fans are holding their breath to see if this new album will follow a downward trend or finally rise to No. 1.

Love in the Future is largely autobiographical. Said Legend, "Lyrically, the title kind of embraces where I’m heading in life, I’m about to get married. It’s the beginning of something new, I’m optimistic about it, and you can hear that in the tone of the tracks. I wanted to make a really great modern soul album."

There is no argument here that Love in the Future is a great, new soul album, but “modern” depends on who you ask. Writing an album of love songs in anticipation of your wedding day sounds pretty old-fashioned to me. But, if John Legend only cared about being modern, he might skip the wedding album and just have a baby with one of the Kardashians. Lacking relevance to modern music, by this definition, is no loss and makes Legend’s sound all the more appealing.