Once Again (John Legend album)

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Once Again
Studio album by John Legend
Released October 24, 2006
Recorded 2005–2006
Genre R&B, neo soul, urban contemporary
Length 59:13
Label GOOD
Producer Kanye West, John Legend, Dave Tozer, will.i.am, Raphael Saadiq, Craig Street, Sa-Ra™, Eric Hudson, Devo Springsteen, Avenue, No I.D.
John Legend chronology
Get Lifted
(2004)
Once Again
(2006)
Evolver
(2008)
Singles from Once Again
  1. "Save Room"
    Released: September 2006
  2. "Heaven"
    Released: December 2006
  3. "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)"
    Released: February 27, 2007
  4. "Stereo"
    Released: April 27, 2007

Once Again is the second studio album by American singer John Legend, issued by GOOD Music and Sony Music Entertainment on October 24, 2006. Legend co-wrote and co-produced the bulk of the album, working with collaborators such as Kanye West, will.i.am, Raphael Saadiq, Craig Street, Sa-Ra, Eric Hudson, Devo Springsteen, Dave Tozer and Avenue.

Singles from the album include "Save Room", "Heaven", "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)", "Stereo", "Another Again", "Slow Dance", "Show Me" and "Each Day Gets Better". Once Again has been certified platinum by the RIAA, after shipping over one million copies. The song "Heaven" won the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Also, "Save Room" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 77/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 4.5/5 stars[2]
AllMusic 4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B[4]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[6]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[7]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[8]
Spin 8/10[9]
The Times 3/5 stars[10]
USA Today 4/4 stars[11]

The album so far has a score of 77 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[1] Yahoo! Music UK gave it a score of nine stars out of ten and called it "frequently staggering".[12] Paste gave it four-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "Legend has grown by leaps on this disc, delivering a richer sound and more adventurous experimentation."[13] The A.V. Club gave it a B+ and said that "While [the album] occasionally slips from understated to sleepy, there isn't a bum track on the album."[14] Mojo also gave the album four stars out of five and said of Legend, "His most impressive skill is echoing the laid-back charm of Bill Withers and the melodic instincts of Stevie Wonder."[1] Blender likewise gave it four stars out of five and said it "sets out to rebuild the dramatic storytelling and redemptive power of soul music on a hip-hop foundation."[1] Q likewise gave it four stars, calling it "soulful" and "not funky".[1] Billboard gave it a positive review and called it "A timeless, feel-good album that could easily slide into your papa's Sam Cooke and Percy Sledge collections, yet still sounds contemporary."[1] The Village Voice also gave it a positive review and stated, "There are a number of words to describe contemporary mainstream r&b, but "elegant," "mature," "breezy," and "sophisticated" aren't usually among them. Luckily, they apply to John Legend's subtle follow-up to 2005's Grammy-winning, multiplatinum Get Lifted."[15] Hartford Courant likewise gave it a positive review and called its songs "Soul music impeccably poised between past and future, anchored by a warm voice comfortingly similar to Bill Withers'."[16]

Other reviews are average or mixed: The Observer gave it three stars out of five and said that Legend "has stepped up into territory that references his background in gospel and soul but avoids the more obvious nods to the past."[17] Slant Magazine also gave it three stars and said that the album's midsection "bulges with excess MOR fat, but unlike Legend's debut, the album doesn't resurrect itself by the end."[18] Now likewise gave it three stars and said, "Legend's lounge-track sentimentality often spills into schmaltzed-out Streisand-on-Broadway territory."[1] Prefix Magazine gave it a score of five out of ten and stated that "The album's second half is still woefully lacking, one big mess of boredom and monotony."[19] Vibe gave it two-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "frustratingly uneven".[1] The Independent gave it two stars out of five and stated, "It's hard not to feel underwhelmed by this follow-up to Legend's major-label debut Get Lifted, which secured three million sales through a judicious blend of his gospel roots and hip-hop ties. The lunge for the mainstream is too pronounced, and probably ill-advised, inasmuch as it places him in direct comparison with more expressive, adept singers."[20]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Save Room" (Buddy Buie, James B. Cobb, Jr., Jessyca Wilson, John Stephens, William Adams, Robot) — 3:55
  2. "Heaven" (A. Brown, J. Wilson, J. Stephens, Kanye West, M. Bland) — 3:34
  3. "Stereo" (D. Harris, J. Stephens, T. Craskey) — 4:09
  4. "Show Me" (R. Bacon, Raphael Saadiq, E. Swaray, J. Stephens) — 4:58
  5. "Each Day Gets Better" (Frank Wilson, J. Stephens, Pam Sawyer, W. Adams) — 3:47
  6. "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)" (E. Hudson, J. Wilson, J. Stephens, K. Prather) — 4:38
  7. "Slow Dance" (E. Swaray, J. Stephens, Lewis, Poindexter, W. Adams) — 4:43
  8. "Again" (J. Stephens) — 5:01
  9. "Maxine" (J. Stephens, Om'Mas Keith, Shafiq Husayn, Taz Arnold) — 4:27
  10. "Where Did My Baby Go" (J. Stephens) — 5:03
  11. "Maxine's Interlude" (J. Stephens, Dave Tozer) — 1:50
  12. "Another Again" (George Patterson, E. Wilson, J. Wilson, J. Stephens, K. West) — 4:01
  13. "Coming Home" (J. Stephens, W. Adams) — 5:05

International bonus tracks

  1. "King & Queen" (featuring Mary J. Blige) (International Bonus Track) — 3:47
  2. "Out of Sight" (International Bonus Track) (T. Crasky, John Stephens, V. Stephens, J. Wilson) — 4:13
  3. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (International Bonus Track) (Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell & Sol Marcus) — 5:13

Samples[edit]

  • "Save Room": "Stormy" by Gábor Szabó
  • "Heaven": "Heaven Only Knows" by Monk Higgins
  • "Each Day Gets Better": "In These Changing Times" by The Four Tops
  • "Slow Dance": "She's a Fox" by the Icemen featuring Jimi Hendrix
  • "Another Again": "Lost for Words" by Midnight Movers Unlimited

Charts[edit]

Chart (2006)[21] Provider(s) Peak
position
Certifications Sales
Austrian Albums Chart Media Control 74
Belgian Albums Chart Ultratop 38
Danish Albums Chart GLF 21
Dutch Albums Chart Megacharts BV 2 Gold 35,000
Finnish Albums Chart GLF 28
French Albums Chart IFPI 58
German Albums Chart Media Control 33
Irish Albums Chart IRMA 19 7,500
Italian Albums Chart FIMI 5 Gold 40,000
New Zealand Albums Chart IFPI 36
Norwegian Albums Chart GLF 12
Swedish Albums Chart GLF 8
Swiss Albums Chart Media Control 12
UK Albums Chart BPI/The Official UK Charts Company 10 Gold 100,000
U.S. Billboard 200 Billboard 3 Platinum 1,166,334
U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 1

References[edit]

External links[edit]