Ne-Yo - Libra Scale

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Libra Scale shows artistic growth and commitment to evolution. Still, Libra Scale lacks the sparkle found in Ne-Yo's previous work.

Initially starting out as a budding songwriter for A-list artists, Ne-Yo is now the toast of the scene with chart-topping singles and albums to boot. The pinnacle may have been his 2008 effort Year Of Gentleman, where chivalry prospered throughout the disc. Two years later, Ne-Yo has yet another concept that comes in the form of Libra Scale. Accompanied by a handful of long-form music videos that bring Ne-Yo’s vision to life, the album tells the story of Jerome, a garbage man that gains fame and power but loses love in return. Ultimately though, the music will justify the acceptance of his latest album, and it’s one to be noted.
     

Over the last few years, Ne-Yo has shown noticeable traces of influence from Michael Jackson in his music, and rightfully so; the two had been in contact prior to Jackson’s untimely death. Almost as homage, “Cause I Said So” builds this influence into a surreal resemblance of performance. From the heart-thumping bass line to his utilization of the vocal hiccup, Ne-Yo emulates the attitude and energy we’ve all come to know from the King of Pop. “Genuine Only” may not cover as much similar territory. However, where it initially sounds like there’s a strain in his singing, he undoubtedly is in total vocal control, a trick Jackson perfected in his long career.
     
“Telekinesis” may be the album’s standout record, backed by brooding drums and a cascading melody that sets the perfect vibe. Imagining the girl of his dreams in front of him, Ne-Yo sends chills down her spine as he sensually asks, “Girl have you ever had someone take the time / To sex your body, but also sex your mind?” The polar opposite of “Telekinesis” is “Crazy Love” , a grooving record describing a reckless love that, although it should have ended months ago, continues due to the childish games played in relationships. Chiming in with his two cents, Fabolous’ verse gives the back-and-forth trials clarity as he raps, “You want to start it first and get the last word / You want to lock me down and get the password.”
     
While relatively success on the charts because of its Electro-Pop aesthetic, the content and production performed on “Beautiful Monster” sounds eerily similar to Ne-Yo’s 2008 single “Closer.” True, these types of tracks do serve a purpose; to get people on the dance floor at clubs and to sell records when the album hits stores. Needless to say though, Ne-Yo has shown he is much more creative than this one-dimensional ploy. The album-ending “What Have I Done” marks the demise of our protagonists’ love affair as he has found himself in a predicament that has no happy ending. Pensive in delivery, Ne-Yo doesn’t quite capture the appropriate mood.
     
Over the course of Ne-Yo’s four album career, we have seen him transition from the guy next door to an aristocratic lover bent on pleasing the opposite sex. With that said, Libra Scale shows artistic growth and commitment to evolution. Still, Libra Scale lacks the sparkle found in Ne-Yo's previous work. Much like “Champagne Life,” there is still plenty to celebrate. Toast it up.

19 Comments

  • Young

    Despite being a little short, NE-YO crafts a well-balanced album and continues to grow as an artist.

  • NeoMax

    I think this is a good album but not great like his old ones. I dont see anything up here that rivals his older hits....the best song is One in a Million. Overall he needs to keep the best material for his own albums

  • Eminemfan

    oh my god! I'm sick of hearing people complain that this is rnb and it shouldn't be on the site! Most hip hop stations play hip hop AND rnb. so an album like this one would obviously be reviewed. (btw I think he fell off a bit)

  • Theo Odoemene

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssa4Z6-TC04

  • Anonymous

    this album is no fun at all. ne-yo is taking himself way to seriously, leave the slow burning grown up shit to Maxwell

  • lacybella

    Great album! Love Genuine Only and One in a Million! :)

  • Anonymous

    Ne-Yo's last album was a huge step forward. first two records were too derivative of his influences, but he really stepped out for the 3rd one. this is just more of the same. disappointing.

  • manfredmash

    These album lacks the artistry the previous album's had, cant listen to it twice...

  • HOODkakashi

    I listened to this cd front and back and came away impressed. Ne-Yo cannot do any wrong as far as pure RnB music is concerned. 5 stars easy.

  • Devante Onomatopoeia-Hypebole Bennett

    black culture, including hiphop, comes from soul, blues, rock, and pop... just deal with it

    • psukany

      maybe you guys are right on this topic .... but true is, I said my opinion... also i love hip hop but i dont like R'n'B its such a different style ... i listen in radio or in TV songs from many artists like Usher , Ne-yo , jason derulo , justin timberlake thay all made RnB but I really dont like it.. its really different ... its like comparing Formule 1 with Rally ... both cars have 4 wheels and steering wheel but there are a people who loves F1 and hate rally and opposite

    • Jugo

      Arcy P is a hundred percent correct. You cannot deny the impact that RnB has had and will continue to have on hip-hop. To those that think otherwise: get your head outta the clouds and open your eyes.

    • Arcy P.

      You remember the 90's don't you? "Hip-Hop Is A Lifestyle." Just because Ne-Yo sings and doesn't Rap doesn't mean he's not Hip-Hop. Omarion & Chris Brown are Hip-Hop and Ne-Yo is better than both of them. I never checked this album yet but I like Ne-Yo's music thus far. Try not to be so ignorant and give some singers a listen. I like rap just as much, if not more, than the next guy but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some soulful music too.

    • psukany

      this is I think hip hop website..., not black culture website :D and if black culture and hip hop comes from blues and pop i looking forward for review new Eric Clapton and Lady GaGa albums ... it's blues and pop music right?

  • Devante Onomatopoeia-Hypebole Bennett

    the guy below me is retarded

  • psukany

    Dont like it, never like it 1/5 this website is www.hiphopdx.com not www.R'n'Bdx.com i rather dont see RnB crap here anymore