John Legend's last album, Once Again, was a great little trad R&B album with nods to rock and '70s singer-songwriter territory, so I was skeptical when he announced the change of direction with his new one Evolver and its uptempo dance single, "Green Light" (and I kind of have an aversion to R&B albums evoking the concept of artistic 'evolution' after Ciara and Robin Thicke's respective abuses of the word). But "Green Light," much like Ne-Yo's also dance-y "Closer," slowly grew on me over the last few months and became one of my favorite singles of the year, and I ended up pretty primed for the album. And while it's definitely not any competition for Once Again, it's a pretty solid record. "It's Over," the breakup song featuring an AutoTuned Kanye West, is way better than anything I've heard off of 808s & Heartbreak (which doesn't necessarily mean it's great, that stuff is just plain bad). But my personal favorite might be "I Love, You Love", for the way it blends the roots rock vibe of Once Again (via a Dire Straits sample) with the Evolver aesthetic, with a ticking drum machine beat that comes in at the end of every fourth measure, then quickly disappears again, giving the whole song this swaying, disorienting groove that I just love.