With a stage name like John Legend, this singer/songwriter has already set the bar very high for himself. However, Legend has nothing to worry about, as he has crafted an able neo-soul debut that will

With a stage name like John Legend, this singer/songwriter has already set the bar very high for himself. However, Legend has nothing to worry about, as he has crafted an able neo-soul debut that will easily set him apart from his R&B counterparts. It doesn't hurt that he has the support and production of multiple Grammy Award nominee/Getting Out Our Dreams honcho Kanye West. The duo works together on several cuts here, beginning with lead single "Used to Love U." Backed by a snare-happy, piano-accented backbeat, Legend croons soulfully to a lover who was more interested in his finances than his heart. Whether he's singing of infidelity ("She Don't Have to Know") or the power of love (the Stevie Wonder-esque "Ordinary People"), his voice has the kind of familiar tone that makes you think he's been through it all. In Legend's case, believe the hype.—RH