The sleek R&B crooner took a trip to Concept Album Island with 2010’s ambitious Libra Scale, and while that was a nice diversion, it’s good to have him home. His easy charms work even (or especially) when he’s singing about his own shortcomings; the rawer lyrics showcase a man who’s maturing without making a fuss about it. Musically, R.E.D. leans mostly on easy soul-pop grooves, but ”She Is,” a country-tinged collab with Tim McGraw, serves him well. It’s all so smooth and casual, you’ll think he recorded in his (no doubt, silk) pajamas. A-
SMOOTH STYLINGS Ne-Yo's soul-pop grooves and casual hooks are a testament to his maturing sound (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Genre: R&B; Lead Performer: Ne-Yo; Music Label: Motown Records
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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