John Legend

Live from Philadelphia

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In the U.S., the CD and CD/DVD versions of Live from Philadelphia were Target exclusives, though the DVD-only version was available elsewhere. The recording offers a fairly even balance between John Legend's studio albums to that point -- 2004's Get Lifted and 2006's Save Room -- and there's the high level of showmanship for which Legend has become known. He did, after all, pay some major dues as a performer prior to signing with a major. Legend's voice is a little rough, though it's really no hindrance, unless you can tolerate nothing short of precision. Some fun curve balls are thrown into the set, like a cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" and the clever incorporation of the Blackbyrds' "Rock Creek Park" within "P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care)," which fits both musically and thematically. A take on the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," however, is more like a temporary derailment.

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