He played piano on Lauryn Hill's "Everything Is Everything" and might as well be considered Kanye's sidekick, having assisted the producer and MC on several sessions -- Jay-Z's "Encore" and Slum Village's "Selfish" being two of the more prominent 2004 singles featuring his work. A former choir director, he has also released a handful of energetic live discs, some of which are credited to his less hubristic birth name, John Stephens. And though he claims "I've got something new," you've also heard substantial chunks of Get Lifted in records made decades ago by Sly & the Family Stone, Curtis Mayfield, Quincy Jones, and Bill Withers. This might not be a problem for listeners who crave anything that recalls the music they first heard in their youth, but Legend's over-reliance upon his inspirations is an impediment as much as a slick way to grab attention. That's because he has more than enough talent and charm to get by on his own. His own lyrics and hooks are unique and clever enough to get the point across that he's no everyday R&B artist and, just as importantly, he has a personable and instantly fetching voice you could listen to all day long.