Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ne-Yo - Libra Scale

The biggest stigma for most male R&B singers of today is what I call the "Michael Jackson factor". It's always kinda difficult to escape comparisons with his legacy, and the truth is that, in most cases, the MJ influence really is there, be it in his trademark way of singing, the videos, the dance steps or even the clothes accessories.
It's hard to escape this line of thought when hearing Libra Scale in its entirety or when watching the genuinely cute video for One In A Million (see below), but in Ne-Yo's case, he does pass the test - and with much distinction. The reasons for this? Mostly because, even when he seems to be channeling Jackson's spirit, that influence is processed through a more modern and updated lens - and also without all the megalomania that comes when you start living in a parallel and artificial world created just for you. Add to this a genius talent as a songwriter, a voice that sounds as sincere as it gets, and a concept that is charmingly goofy (Libra Scale is loosely based around the adventures of three garbagemen who become superheros) and Ne-Yo's fourth album turns into the best definition of what an instant classic is. (9/10)

Ne-Yo - Beautiful Monster (mp3 via The Smoking Section)

Ne-Yo - One In A Million (video)

No comments: