- Released: October 28, 2008
- Label: Sony
Rolling Stone - p.1253.5 stars out of 5
-- "With piano-flecked soul, lite funk and reggae, EVOLVER's tunes and arrangements are as impeccable as the cut of Legend's suits."
Spin - p.1063 stars out of 5
-- "EVOLVER proves that Legend remains one of R&B's most forward-looking craftsmen."
Entertainment Weekly - p.62
"Legend is still at his best when he plays to his voice's strengths with clean-cut ballads like 'Everybody Knows.'" -- Grade: B+
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1043 stars out of 5
-- "When he moves away from the more straightforward ballads, it's obvious that Legend's maverick side is still intact....He's reaching out to address more universal themes, and finding the music to match."
- 1.Good Morning Interlude
- 2.Green Light
- 3.It's Over
- 4.Everybody Knows
- 5.No Other Love
- 6.Cross The Line
- 7.This Time
- 8.There With You
- 9.Good Monring
- 10.I Love, You Love
- 11.If You're Out There
Personnel: John Legend (vocals, piano, keyboards, background vocals); Estelle, Brandy (vocals, background vocals); Agape International Choir, Kanye West, Andr? 3000 (vocals); Malay (various instruments, keyboards, programming); Mitchum Chin (guitar, keyboards); Tomi Martin, Sharief Hobley (guitar); Dave Tozer (guitars, keyboards); Tim Pierce, Trevor Horn (guitars); Joel Pargman, Lorenz Gamma, Irina Voloshina, Nina Evtuhov, Katia Popov, Robin Olson, Mark Sazer, Jennie Levin, Alan Grunfeld, Neil Samples, Tamara Hatwan, Charles Parker , Julie Rogers, Robert Martin , Sid Page, Bruce Dukov, Igor Szwec, Lesa Terry, Shalini Vijayan, Neel Hammond, Emma Kummrow, Darius Campo, Olga Konopelsky, Gregory Teperman (violin); Alexandra Leem, Shawn Mann, Carole Castillo, Carolyn Riley, Kate Reddish, Piotr Jandula, Davis A. Barnett, Alma Fernandez (viola); Giovanna Moraga Clayton, Larry Corbett, Jennie Lorenzo, Cecilia Tsan, Victor Lawrence (cello); Paul Klintworth, Dana Kelley, Jennie Kim, Jim Thatcher (French horn); Dean Fraser, Hornz Unlimited (horns); Eugene "Man Man" Roberts (keyboards, vocoder, programming); Stephen Tirpak, Jamie Muhoberac, Shannon Sanders (keyboards); Drew Dembowski, Bruce Morgenthaler, Pete Donnelly, Sue Raney, Ann Atkinson (bass instrument); Pharrell Williams (percussion, background vocals); Luis Jardim (percussion); Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin Quee (programming); Jessyca Wilson, Lenesha Randolph, Terrence "Scar" Smith, Christopher "Lonny" Breaux, Candice Anderson (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Kevin "KD" Davis; Manny Marroquin; Alex Yenguen; Jean-Marie Horvat; Mike "Hitman" Wilson.
Arrangers: Stephen Tirpak; Dave Tozer; Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin Quee; Larry Gold; Nick Ingman; Pete Murray .
The third full-length from John Legend finds the neo-soul singer-songwriter mixing it up a bit. Whereas its predecessor, the excellent ONCE AGAIN, stayed the course of smooth yet passionate retro-themed R&B, EVOLVER experiments with different sounds and styles. The lead single, "Green Light," with its amped-up programmed beat, synths, and cameo from Andre 3000, sounds more like a 21st-century club jam than an old-school throwback. Reggae, ballads, adult contemporary, and digitized contemporary R&B all make their way into the album's diverse musical stew. Whether it's the mellow, low-key funk of "It's Over," the synth-pop of "Satisfaction" (one can imagine the song being performed by Depeche Mode), or the guest spots from Brandy, Estelle, and Kanye West, EVOLVER keeps the listener guessing. It may not have the consistency of Legend's first two releases, but its cornucopia of interesting sounds and directions offer something for everyone.