You’d be forgiven for thinking that John Legend’s new collection has been titled with the forthcoming Trump era in mind. Legend canvassed for Hillary Clinton and has a track record for reflecting activism in his music (such as his collaboration with Common on Glory for the Selma soundtrack, or his portrayal of human rights activist Frederick Douglass on forthcoming drama Underground).
But Darkness and Light is not entirely that kind of album. Instead, Legend and collaborators like Chance the Rapper (laying down a funky swagger on Penthouse), Miguel (superb on Overload) and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard (who owns the title track) work the more personal side of Legend’s themes and topics rather than amplifying the big picture stuff.
It’s a grand album, if lacking the or punch required to take it to another level.