Album Review: Ne-Yo – R.E.D.

As a fan, I personally did not like Ne-Yo’s last offering Libra Scale. I am having a hard time remembering the singles he released in that album. What I know is that Libra was more of an experiment for this slick and artistic singer-songwriter. Now after 3 years of writing and collaborating with other artists, Ne-Yo’s back for his fifth studio album R.E.D. which stands for Realizing Every Dream.

  1. The Cracks In Mr. Perfect – Right off the bat, Ne-Yo’s first track made me realize why I loved his music in the first place. His tone is oozing with icy-cool swag. In addition, we get to hear a more honest Ne-Yo in this track as he sings about him trying hard to be faithful, being irresponsible, trying to be little competitive (I say I’m not a hater / but I hate to see you shine), and spending 40k in three hours.
  2. Lazy Love – A sexy cool track about doing the deed that reminds me of his past bedroom-ready hit songs like Sexy Love and When Your Mad. Well, that’s mainly about it.
  3. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) – This song is co-written by Sia (the same person who gave you dance hits Titanium and Wild Ones) who obviously made this song one of the best dance hits of 2012. I don’t know what’s with her that makes all her collaborations click. This track is definitely on my playlist and on repeat.
  4. Miss Right – Another beautiful, solid track from Ne-Yo. I just love the R&B vibe of this album so far and this track is no exception.
  5. Jealous – Oh gosh I love this album already and we’re just five tracks in! This track started off with a synthesizing piano solo and then Ne-Yo steps in with a Said I’m Je-Jealous intro that sounded so much like Michael Jackson. The whole song is catchy that I can feel another hit song coming out from Mr. Ne-Yo.
  6. Don’t Make Em Like You Feat. Wiz Khalifa – The intro makes me too dizzy and sick, but Ne-Yo’s voice comes to the rescue at around the 00:10 mark. This track is more on the hip-hop side and you won’t be disappointed. Surprisingly, this is another catchy attack that everyone can sing-along at the “hey hey” part of the chorus and join in clapping. Rapper Wiz Khalifa elevated this song to the next level.
  7. Be The One – With all the synthesizers going on, I thought this song will burst out into dance mode halfway through. I was waiting for it and waiting for it, but it ended in mid-tempo, making me wanting so much more.
  8. Stress Reliever – This song freaks me out. An R&B ballad about taking out stress intimately. This song makes me want to grab and cuddle someone and just lay down and do some more cuddling.
  9. She Is Feat. Tim McGraw – Am I hearing this right? Ne-Yo teams up with Country superstar Tim McGraw? Interesting! Truly unexpected! I have to say this song actually works! This song is like breath of fresh air right smack in the middle of an album heavy of soul and R&B.
  10. Carry On (Her Letter To Him) – This swerves a little bit away from Ne-Yo’s genre, leaving this song a bit disconnected with the rest of the album. However, here we get to listen to his pure and amazingly beautiful voice.
  11. Forever Now – Wear your dancing shoes and off to the dance-floor! This track brings everyone back to the fun vibe of the first half of the album with Let Me Love You. Another future smash club-hit for Ne-Yo.
  12. Shut Me Down – And leave your dancing shoes on because it’s party time! Another club-ready track for our R&B star.
  13. Unconditional – And what better way to end an incredible fifth effort than to give his listeners an appealing, romantic track that tackles Ne-Yo’s vow of unconditional love. I just love the dub-step vibe of this feel-good song and of course Ne-Yo’s wonderful vocals.

Final Thoughts: A remarkable album from Ne-Yo. Though he injected and attacked different genres like dance and country, everything seems to work in his favor (unlike the latest efforts of Usher and Chris Brown). I don’t know, but everything Ne-Yo touches—with just a little flava and a whole lot of soul—turns magical.

Songs to be put on your Playlist: Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself), Jealous, Forever Now, Unconditional, Don’t Make Em Love You, Miss Right.

Grab this album if you like: Usher, Chris Brown, Sia, Calvin Harris, Miguel.

4.5 out of 5

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