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10.31.06 12:37 PM

John Legend's Johnny Mathis Moment

This weekend while I was in Wellesley, on two separate occasions, in two separate cars, I heard tracks from the new John Legend album, Once Again. Though I had it myself for a few weeks, I hadn't listened to it yet. What I realized though, in those two cars, was that Legend had a crossover appeal that I hadn't realized. The two separate cars were being driven by two young white women -- and both said, "I love John Legend." One even reported that she had seen him in concert in her home town.

I had been thinking about a John Legend, Johnny Mathis comparison since first hearing "Save Room." There's just something familiar and nostalgic about the track. It's the kind of love ballad that perhaps Mathis would have sung. It made me realize that Legend was not just on some R&B, hip-hop shit, but that becoming the king of love pop was his goal. The kind of love pop in the tradition of someone such as Johnny Mathis.

Ok the quality of their tenors are quite different, but there are many other comparisons that could be made on song style, fashion selection, and well, dare I say it. So Mathis was in the closet for a long, long time, and I'm not saying that Legend is, but the speculation is definitely there. Anyway, whatever the case, Legend may be experiencing a Johnny Mathis moment and is on his way to becoming America's heart throb.

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