Ne-Yo still one in a million

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 12:00am

Singer-songwriter Ne-Yo is back with his fourth studio album, Libra Scale. Topping the UK R&B charts, this silky smooth album has an edge to it, with each song making up a piece of a larger story.

Champagne Life is a perfect opener. The languid beats combine with feel-good lyrics like 'trouble is a bubble in a champagne glass' to make a great party track that epitomises Ne-Yo's charismatic style.

One in a Million shows us what Ne-Yo can really do. This is a slick, addictive song with insistent bongo beats that will inspire images of the Caribbean. His sultry, sweet lyrics could make girls swoon: 'There's a million girls around but I don't see anyone but you.'

Beautiful Monster is a dance track with a palpable Michael Jackson influence. Ne-Yo says 'MJ might be gone but his spirit should live in our music' and this song carves that statement in stone. But perhaps Ne-Yo has paid too close a tribute to his idol - some of the production elements, such as the synths, feel a little dated.

Ne-Yo strikes a good balance between modern, up-beat numbers like One in a Million and the more old-school style sound of songs like Crazy Love, a funk-heavy, Lauren Hill-sounding love song. Compelling - but unlikely to convince non-believers of the powers of R'n'B.