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Once Again


Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: John Legend (vocals, piano, organ, keyboards, background vocals); Tom Craskey (vocals, guitar, piano); Raphael Saadiq (guitar, bass guitar); Chris Bruce, David Torn , Doyle Bramhall, Evan Conquest, Rob "Fonksta" Bacon, Sharief Hobley (guitar); Dave Tozer (acoustic guitar, piano, drum programming); Sandra Parl, Krystof Kuznik, Sarah O'Boyle, Kurn Lu, Jung Sun Yoo, Wen Qian, Soohyun Kwon, Caterina Szepes, Sandra Park, Lisa Kim, Sharon Yamada, Katherine Fong (violin); Karen Dreyfus, Nick Cords (viola); Elizabeth Dyson (cello); Helen Campo, Diva Goodfriend-Koven (alto flute); Steve Williamson (clarinet); Shelley Woodworth (oboe); Steve Tirpak (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone); Julie Landsman (French horn); Art Baron (trombone); Jerry Freeman, Jason Freeman , Corey Hogan, Richard L. Owens , Kebbi Williams (horns); Eric Hudson (piano, bass guitar); Ron Fair (piano); Chris Rob (organ); Didi Gutman, Jamie Muhoberac, Keith Harris , Patrick Warren (keyboards); David Piltch (bass guitar); (drums, drum programming); Larry Eagle, Bobby Ozuna, Mark Biobdi, Earl Harvin, Harvey Mason, Sr. , Robert Ozuna (drums); Jack Splash (drum programming); Ken Lewis (sampler); Lenesha Randolph, Vaughn Anthony, Sasha Allen, Tara Michel (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Tony Maserati .
  • Recording information: Blakeslee Recording Company, North Hollwood, CA; Cosmic Dust Recorders, Los Angeles, CA; Integrated Studios, New York, NY; Right Track, New York, NY; Sear Sound, New York, NY; Sony Music Studios, New York, NY; Spiral Recording, Los Angeles, CA; Studio Crash, Philadelphia, PA; Sunset Sound Factory, Los Angeles, CA; The Cutting Room, New York, NY; The Looking Glass, New York, NY; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA; The Studio, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Photographer: Danny Clinch.
  • Arranger: Daniele Luppi.
  • If John Legend hadn't made his name working with Kanye West, producing Jay-Z, and playing on Lauryn Hill's classic THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL, his 2004 studio debut GET LIFTED would have still established him as a true frontrunner in the world of R&B. His studio follow-up, 2006's ONCE AGAIN, is better than its predecessor; the music is still steeped in vintage 1960s- and '70s-flavored R&B, but Legend's songcraft, productions, and nuanced singing are even more appealing.
  • Most impressively (especially for someone who swapped his birth name for "Legend"), the music is remarkably understated, subtle, and textured. The cool-toned groove of the album's lead-off single, "Save Room," is a case in point, as is the beautiful, mid-tempo "Show Me," which floats on intricate electric guitar patterns and swelling strings. The vibe is deep on ONCE AGAIN, and beautifully restrained; the productions are contemporary and tinged with hip-hop aesthetic, yet they're never overbearing. Horns, piano, tasteful strings, and a pulsing rhythm section provide a sweet canvas for Legend's seductive croon and falsetto swoops. ONCE AGAIN is a true soul record, and Legend is rapidly gaining on his competitors as the king of the neo-soul mountain.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] bigger, better follow-up, which blends lush, elegant band arrangements with stylish synth parts and cool samples."

Rolling Stone (p.107) - Ranked #35 in Rolling Stone's "The Top 50 Albums Of 2006" -- "Legend goes from Nat 'King' Cole to Jeff Buckley on a dime."

Spin (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Like LIFTED, ONCE AGAIN offers a mesmerizing blend of canny sample science and Stevie Wonder live-band R&B."

Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "[Legend] conducts a songcraft master class....Musically, the CD is satisfying enough to ensure further Grammy acclaim." -- Grade: B

Q (p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "It's soulful..and brims with spiritual joy. It's luxurious."

Q (p.120) - Ranked #49 in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006" -- "[A]n ideally poised crossover album."

Vibe (p.166) - "Legend ups the ante musically....He's beginning to loosen up his vocals...honing his signature vibrato."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "His most impressive skill is echoing the laid-back charm of Bill Withers and the melodic instincts of Stevie Wonder..."
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