Ne-Yo…Running Out of Ink?

May 3, 2007 § 2 Comments

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The innovative ink in R&B wonder boy Ne-Yo’s pen has finally run out. Coming off his critically acclaimed debut album, In My Own Words, Ne-Yo returns with his new album, Because of You, which hit stores May 1. Unfortunately, his new album is nowhere near as brilliant as his debut, which declared him the new “it-boy” of R&B with its eloquent and catchy lyrics matched with stunning vocals and production. Maybe Ne-Yo is cursed with the sophomore slump. Or just maybe he’s run out of ink from penning the last of his good material for R&B stars like Beyonce (he wrote her #1 single, “Irreplaceable”) and Rihanna (he wrote her summer hit, “Unfaithful”).

Regardless, I expected more from Ne-Yo. Don’t get me wrong; the album is not horrible. It’s just not memorable lyrically or production wise. In the majority of his album, Ne-Yo talks about sex, love, withered relationships—typical R&B material. Whereas Ne-Yo covered this material with lyrical prowess in his debut album, he was unable to repeat his strong efforts.

There are exceptions of course.

One of his best tracks, “Do You,” has Ne-Yo questioning an ex who has moved on, whether she still cares. “I know what we have is dead and gone/Too many times I made you cry/And I don’t mean to interrupt your life/I just wonder do I cross your mind,” he cries. “Because of You,” Ne-Yo’s first single about his addiction to sex is also a winner, but mostly for its catchy melody, which mirrors “So Sick,” from his last album. Surprisingly, Ne-Yo does take a risk in “Sex with My Ex,” with its edgy 80’s infused rock sound. However, in this track he seems like he’s trying too hard to imitate Prince, which doesn’t come off well. Maybe, Ne-Yo will redeem himself with a slew of hit singles for other artists—something he has yet to fail at.

Best Songs: “Do You,” “Make it Work,” “Angel,” “Say It,” “Because of You,” “Crazy” feat. Jay-Z

My Grade: B-


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