November 03, 2008 12:00 PM

Evolver

CRITIC’S CHOICE

R&B

Since making his debut with 2004’s Grammy-winning Get Lifted, John Legend has been one of R&B’s most highly evolved artists. He maintains his lofty place in the food chain on his third studio album. Legend tries out some faster-paced moves on the frisky first single “Green Light” (featuring OutKast’s André 3000) and shifts into a reggae groove on tracks like the sultry grinder “No Other Love” (featuring protégée Estelle). But he’s still at his drop-dead finest when he slows it down on ballads like the guitar-laced “Everybody Knows” and, best of all, “This Time,” this disc’s “Ordinary People.”

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