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John Legend

Sixty Seconds with John Legend

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Indy: Your new CD, Evolver, still has some of the classic soul ballad feel of your first two CDs, but it's got a more modern sound, with more of a hip-hop influence, and is more up-tempo overall. Do you see Evolver as a reaction to the first two CDs?

JL: I think each album is, in some ways, a reaction to the last album. I think the last album [2006's Once Again] was more kind of mellow and more intimate, more romantic, more explicitly vintage and classic. And this one, because I had just done that album, I didn't want to do it again. So I felt like I could do something different on this album and still make a great album, but just with a different form of expression.

Indy: Were you worried about being pigeonholed as a retro soul singer if you didn't start to branch out?

JL: Part of the thinking when I was making this album was that I didn't want to be typecast. Even though I have such a love for vintage soul, it's not all that I am. And I didn't want my whole repertoire to become kind of revisiting one particular era of music over and over again.

Indy: What can fans expect from your current live show?

JL: The band alignment [keyboardist, guitarist, drummer, bassist and backing vocalists] is about the same. I actually have one less keyboardist this time, but everything else is the same. But every album we kind of approach even the older songs in a new way, just so we can kind of integrate to make it pretty seamless. So we've done new arrangements for some of the songs that we've done in the past, and then, obviously, we have the new songs.

At Denver's Paramount Theatre, Jan. 8.

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