New Music: Ne-Yo’s R.E.D. drops today

6 Nov

R&B artist Ne-Yo‘s fifth studio album drops today and is the first album the megastar has released since moving to Motown Records in January. Titled R.E.D., and acronym for “Realizing Every Dream”, this album is said to be inspired by his personal experiences, and features collabos from various big name artists.

Leading with “Cracks in Mr. Perfect”, a male version of “Flaws and All”, this album starts with Ne-Yo laying out his flaws over a simple beat. Perfect intro for an R&B album – nice and mellow.

In addition to the Billboard top 10 hit “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)”, R.E.D. is full of electronica-based club bangers, starting with “Don’t Make ‘Em Like You”, Ne-Yo and Wiz Khalifa’s slightly upbeat ode to the classy woman they claim is now a rare find. Ne-Yo also manages to match an upbeat tempo to sadder lyrics in “Forever Now”, a song asking the woman he thought he’d propose to “What are we gonna do with forever now?” as he discovers her cheating. Another great club banger – “Shut Me Down” tries to disprove an uninterested woman’s notions that he’s a player out to break her heart.

If you prefer a bit less rhythm in your R&B, R.E.D.‘s got a few smoother ballads to enjoy. “Be the One” is his sultry attempt to lure a seemingly unhappy woman from her unhealthy relationship, while “Stress Reliever” is a smooth baby making ballad about adult dessert ;).

Ne-Yo has ventured away from his R&B nature dabbling in pop and hip-hop as well as dance/electronica, but it seems that R.E.D. is a project where he embraces other genres without sacrificing his R&B core. It’s refreshing to hear a good R&B album that hasn’t merged too much with pop or hip-hop.

Even though his lyrics and voice remain R&B, the electronica instrumentals are pretty blatant in his upbeat songs, and “She Is”, his duet with country crooner Tim McGraw, definitely has a down home country twist to it. Still, R.E.D. stays pretty true to his R&B roots.

Working with some of the biggest stars in other genres without selling out? Perhaps this is what Ne-Yo means by “Realizing Every Dream”.


2 Responses to “New Music: Ne-Yo’s R.E.D. drops today”

  1. LaToya November 6, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    GREAT review of the album! I have to say that you may have captured into words exactly what Ne-Yo wanted to accomplish with this album. I delved into the deluxe edition and I must say that the added songs don’t seem like they were just extra songs that were thrown onto an album to get an extra five dollars from fans. I could go on for days about how much I love this album..


  1. Soul Train Awards 2012: Highlights and lowlights « Living Fiesta - November 26, 2012

    […] Award for Songwriter of the Year. Ne-Yo performed his hit “Let Me Love You” from his new album R.E.D., this time infusing a bit more soul into the electronica-dance based […]

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