• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Oct 24, 2006
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Don't expect a derivative mash of smudgy, nostalgia-filching sounds, though, because despite its retro leanings, what's in store somehow crackles with currency.
  2. Legend has grown by leaps on this disc, delivering a richer sound and more adventurous experimentation. [Dec 2006, p.88]
  3. "Once Again" seems almost monotone on first impression, diminished by the middling tempos that weigh down many a ballad-driven album.... But peel back the layers of this suburban soul, and you'll find … more layers.
  4. While Once Again occasionally slips from understated to sleepy, there isn't a bum track on the album.
  5. What worked so profitably for him before also works now: his tunes are little Motown-ish symphonies, lit from within by his quiet-storm intensity, itself beholden to Smokey Robinson.
  6. 80
    Once Again sets out to rebuild the dramatic storytelling and redemptive power of soul music on a hip-hop foundation.
  7. It's soulful, not funky, and brims with spiritual joy. [Dec 2006, p.134]
  8. 80
    Like Lifted, Once Again offers a mesmerizing blend of canny sample science and Stevie Wonderful life-band R&B. [Dec 2006, p.96]
  9. 80
    His most impressive skill is echoing the laid-back charm of Bill Withers and the melodic instincts of Stevie Wonder. [Dec 2006, p.104]
  10. Musically, the CD is satisfying enough to ensure further Grammy acclaim. Lyrically, it's damaged enough to require a top-flight couples therapist.
  11. A timeless, feel-good album that could easily slide into your papa's Sam Cooke and Percy Sledge collections, yet still sounds contemporary.
  12. The 27-year-old has stepped up into territory that references his background in gospel and soul but avoids the more obvious nods to the past.
  13. Soul music impeccably poised between past and future, anchored by a warm voice comfortingly similar to Bill Withers'.
  14. There are a number of words to describe contemporary mainstream r&b, but "elegant," "mature," "breezy," and "sophisticated" aren't usually among them. Luckily, they apply to John Legend's subtle follow-up to 2005's Grammy-winning, multiplatinum Get Lifted.
  15. 70
    In short, Legend does for trad-soul what Oasis did for The Beatles. [Dec 2006, p.116]
  16. While Once Again might not get as much attention as its predecessor, it's more assured and sounds nothing like an experiment to see what sticks.
  17. Like its predecessor, Once Again's midsection bulges with excess MOR fat, but unlike Legend's debut, the album doesn't resurrect itself by the end.
  18. Legend's lounge-track sentimentality often spills into schmaltzed-out Streisand-on-Broadway territory.
  19. The album's second half is still woefully lacking, one big mess of boredom and monotony.
  20. 50
    Frustratingly uneven. [Dec 2006, p.165]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. BrookeC
    Feb 13, 2007
    9
    I lOVE this album better than the first! I think that he is really showing his diversity. My favorite is Another Again... but I wish I was I lOVE this album better than the first! I think that he is really showing his diversity. My favorite is Another Again... but I wish I was Melanie in Stereo! Full Review »
  2. ReubenF
    Dec 19, 2006
    8
    This guy is very talented. Unfortunately for him, his music is a little too adult contemporary jazz to be cool, but hopefully if he keeps on This guy is very talented. Unfortunately for him, his music is a little too adult contemporary jazz to be cool, but hopefully if he keeps on producing music of quality like on this album and Get Lifted, that won't matter and he will eventually get the popularity he deserves. I also like Common and Kayne West, who he has collaborated with. He needs perhaps to get a little more funk, and a little less jazz, into his sound. Full Review »
  3. RandyK
    Dec 11, 2006
    9
    This is better than "Get Lifted." It's new, it's fresh and it doesn't pander to the same syrupy sensibility that the majority This is better than "Get Lifted." It's new, it's fresh and it doesn't pander to the same syrupy sensibility that the majority of male "R&B" do. This is why it's distinct and will probably go down as one of his career bests. Full Review »