Smooth Moves Not Enough for Libra Scale
- 2010 1 Dec
Title: Libra Scale
Label: Def Jam
Whenever romance is on his mind, (and trust me, if his latest album is any indication, that's pretty much every other minute), Ne-Yo sure knows how to work it.
In addition to having a slew of silky smooth dance moves at his disposal, Ne-Yo also delivers lyrics straight from everybody's favorite rom-coms like "You're so one in a million/You are/Baby, you're the best I ever had" with the sort of sultry, honeyed vocals that could probably win over any single woman on the planet.
Trouble is, charms like these only go so far, and Libra Scale doesn't offer the listener much more than wistful propositions of true love in a tastefully executed pop music package.
It's never a lack of vision that drags things down, mind you. It's just that Ne-Yo's a bit of a one-trick pony here, and even with the album's high concept, namely that the quest for love is often akin to a battle of good and evil, the stories of superheroes and scary monsters lack any real scope.
If anything, Ne-Yo seems like he's lobbying to be the heir apparent of the late Michael Jackson's "King of Pop" throne. Borrowing heavily from Jackson's slower, old-school jams, songs like "Champagne Life" and "What Have I Done" simply sound far too derivative, a shame since Ne-Yo definitely has proven to be a more distinctive presence on previous outings.
However, even when Ne-Yo surrenders the proverbial moonwalk and goes a little more experimental in the club-friendly grooves of "Beautiful Monster," the song still suffer because he's a slave (again) to the subject of love without offering any new insight.
And while Paul McCartney may have said there's nothing wrong with people wanting to fill the world with "silly love songs," even he probably would've second-guessed his declaration if forced to listen to Libra Scale on a loop.
*This Article First Published 12/1/2010