John Legend, ‘Woodstock’ | Track Review
Soulful R&B artist John Legend returns with a ripe, gorgeous rendition of “Woodstock,” a Joni Mitchell classic.
R&B is on the struggle bus, commercially. Nonetheless, there are plenty of talented R&B artists who continue to stay on the grind, sales and popularity aside. One of those soldiers is John Legend, who is one of the most soulful artists of modern times. It’s been 14 years since he first graced the scene with his debut album, Get Lifted. Amazingly, it’s been four years since his no. 1 single “All of Me” gave us the feels. The Legend is back with Joni Mitchell cover, “Woodstock.”
“Woodstock” opens with reflective piano that’s thought-provoking and moody before John Legend ever sings a note. It’s nearly 40 seconds before we first hear from him. Upon his entry, his signature soulful, nuanced pipes get to work without a hitch. He sounds incredibly expressive, reflective (matching the pianistic start), and thoughtful. While the lead vocals are the focal point, his backing vocals provide some accentuation. Throughout the course of “Woodstock” it’s Legend’s voice that is the crowning achievement – the tour de force.
Ultimately, “Woodstock” is a gorgeous, expressive performance by Legend. Vocally, he’s at his best – top-notch without question. If you aren’t a John Legend fan for whatever reason, “Woodstock” may not necessarily change your mind. That said, most should have an appreciation of his vocal skill given the things he executes vocally on this particular song. If nothing else, there should be an appreciation of how soundly he delivers on this Joni Mitchell classic.
John Legend • Woodstock – Single • Columbia • Release: 11.11.17
Photo Credit: Columbia