This is John Legend's seventh effort, so it's fair to wonder if he tried anything different this time. Did he mess with his sound, try anything new, head down a slightly different street?
Short answer: no.
Put simply, if you're into John Legend, you'll love this record. It's classic Legend, a record full of love songs and positivity, which admittedly sounds rather out of place in the current climate but is something that some people out there might really appreciate. There are no twists and no turns, it's just a solid near-hour of chill vibes and intimacy.
That's brilliant for John Legend fans, but it's hard to imagine that anyone who hasn't been smitten with him so far, will be turned onto him by this one. It's difficult to impress just how 'John Legend' this album is; every single ingredient is there. The problem is, there's no seasoning, no spice, no marinade. There's nothing new that'll make you think "Ooh, John's experimented a bit there."
What was refreshing after last week's album was the song lengths. None of them outstay their welcome; they are short and sweet, which makes the album tick by nicely. What the album does do, occasionally, is blend into itself, with one too many soundalike tracks after another. It's easy to get a little bit lost and forget where you are in the album, wondering which track you're on and what comes next.
There are moments which buck up your ears a little more. 'One Life' is excellent, and 'Don't Walk Away', a collaboration with the aptly-named Koffee, does increase the BPM just a little more than most of the other songs. Album closer 'Never Break' is particularly wonderful too and the perfect closer for this record.
But if there is one song that sums this record up, it's 'Slow Cooker'. Bigger Love is slow, it's light, and there's a distinctly relaxing vibe to this hour. If being 'chill' is what you're looking for, you'll find few better albums for it. For the rest of us, it feels a bit lacking. Some darker material wouldn't have gone amiss, some genuine excitement here or there. It may not be Legend's forté, but it would have been nice to hear him explore some different avenues.
As it stands, what we've got is, undoubtedly, a John Legend album. One hour of chill vibes, love songs and heartfelt lyrics, the perfectly-titled Bigger Love is nothing that we haven't heard before from him and, if you're a John Legend fan, you'll love it. For the rest of us, it's an album that just leaves you wanting slightly more excitement and originality. There's nothing wrong with it - but please add a little flavour next time, John. 5/10