'Bigger Love': John Legend's Juneteenth release is a celebration of love, fans call it 'album of the year'

Featuring the likes of Jhene Aiko, Gray Clark Jr, and more, the album precedes Legend's Verzuz battle with Alicia Keys and fans are going gaga over it


                            'Bigger Love': John Legend's Juneteenth release is a celebration of love, fans call it 'album of the year'
John Legend (Getty Images)

John Legend has released his new album, 'Bigger Love', featuring collaborations with Jhene Aiko, Gary Clark Jr, Koffee, and more in celebration of Juneteenth as well as in the run-up to his highly-anticipated Verzuz battle with Alicia Keys which kicks off on June 19 at 8 pm ET. 'Bigger Love' is Legend's seventh studio album and the follow-up to his 2016 record 'Darkness and Light'. In the interim between the two albums, Legend also dropped the 2018 Christmas release, 'A Legendary Christmas.' 'Bigger Love' includes the singles 'Conversations in the Dark', 'Actions', and the self-titled track 'Bigger Love'. It is built around the current climate of feeling isolated or stuck amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown. But unlike many other records built around these themes, 'Bigger Love' seems to be more about embracing the situation and finding love from within that space. In a conversation with Jimmy Fallon back in March, Legend stated 'Bigger Love' was his "sexiest album to date," adding, "If you’re stuck at home and want to make some coronababies...if you spend a lot of time with your partner and you need a soundtrack to that."

Recording artist John Legend performs onstage during The Alliance For Children's Rights 28th Annual Dinner Honoring Karey Burke And Susan Saltz at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on March 05, 2020, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

As one of the reigning masters of the R&B/pop ballad, nobody would be particularly surprised to know that Legend has dropped yet another masterpiece. But what sets 'Bigger Love' apart is that it blends Legend's smooth musicality with some very important sociopolitical messages. And it does so in a way that centers the listener and their emotions instead of overwhelming them with a stream of information about problems that appear to have no solutions. Tracks like the uplifting 'Conversations in the Dark' point to unconditional love and are perfect feel-good anthems that offer a counterbalance to the album's other tracks such as 'Remember Us' featuring rapper Rapsody that gently memorializes lost black icons including Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle, and Biggie Smalls. Other tracks like 'Bigger Love' encourage listeners to hold on to positivity even if "the world feels like it’s crumblin'" and some, such as 'Actions', with lyrics like "Actions speak louder than...love songs," show how remarkably self-aware Legend is capable of being as an artiste.

'Bigger Love' is already a hit with fans, with many finding it as calming as it is uplifting. One fan tweeted, "Mr John Legend sir, this album.....Greatness," another said, "@johnlegend new album>>>bouta go to sleep relaxed," and one stated, "THE VIBE OF THIS ALBUM IS PERFECT." Fans were also picking their favorite tracks off the album. One fan shared, "'U move, I move' & 'always' have to be my favourites so far, but I LOVE the entire album. This album will be on repeat for weeks on end," another said, "Mr @johnlegend does it again with a stellar album. Thank you, good sir. I enjoy ‘Never Break’ a lot," and one stated, "Bopping to One Life right now! Love the funk feel of it. Whole album so far has such a fresh/summer vibe." And one user quipped, "On my second round of listening- it’s truly hard to pick a favorite. Feel like I need categories- Fave love song, Fave sultry, Fave Duet, Fave Dance, etc."

John Legend performs at the 2019 Global Citizen Prize at the Royal Albert Hall on December 13, 2019, in London, England (Getty Images)

And from there on, the praise for 'Bigger Love' only continued. One tweet read, "You got back to the soul and grooves on this album, @johnlegend! It’s amazing! Respect to @RaphaelSaadiq for the executive production," and another fan shared, "This is a beautiful album! The year 2020 needs an anthem to counter the harshness of events, this has massive heart and healing. Thank you John." Even US Representative Eric Swalwell jumped in on the 'Bigger Love' bandwagon, tweeting, "'Bigger Love' (& the video) is a needed 2020 anthem/tribute to our frontline workers."

Fans are already predicting the album is going to be a hit and possibly sweep any upcoming award shows. One fan said, "Absolutely amazing, has to be album of the year," while another shared, "#BiggerLove is absolutely amazing, every song is a masterpiece! I don't have enough words to describe how much I like it, how much I like the vibe, the lyrics... #JohnLegend truly outdid himself on this one, I'm so proud @johnlegend."

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