12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Voice In A Million,
This review is from: Libra Scale (Audio CD)
Welcome back Mr Smith! In more ways than one! With Ne-Yo's new
album 'Libra Scale' he seems to have shucked off the ill-fitting
raiments of the One-Gloved-One which, to a substantial degree,
marred his 2008 release 'Year Of The Gentleman'. Although there
are still small shades of his spirit-guide in evidence they do not
suffocate his own inimitable (and highly likeable) vocal gift.
'Libra Scale' positively glistens and glows with five-star style.
There are ten songs in the bunch and the greater part of its
beauty rests in the laid-back, unhurried and exemplary production.
There's a cutesy concept, of sorts, running through the album
which might have been more easily graspable had Def Jam deigned
to include the lyrics in the supporting printed material but
what fell by the wayside in terms of my own understanding of
the unifying narrative probably doesn't matter that much at
the end of the day. It's the music and the singing that count
here and both are glorious!
It's a largely mid-paced collection, the mellow arrangements
supporting our hero's effortlessly mellifluous vocals with
unerringly good grace and taste. 'One In A Million' is a
marvellous example of a master at the top of his game.
The lithe, gently funky and understated percussion; consummately
crafted harmonies and captivating melody frame one of the finest
vocal performances of his career so-far.
The chorus is a real cracker! Seriously beautiful.
Opening track 'Champagne Life' is a classy piece of work too.
As a night out on the tiles looms large we are led by the hand
into a glittering city soundscape full of optimism and romantic
possibility. An 'On The Town' for a new generation.
The harmonic structure of the composition is stunning.
'Cause I Said So' and the splendid 'Beautiful Monster' come close
to being the most danceable numbers in the set (trust me I tried -
much to Mrs Wolf's amusement!) The latter, with its infectiously
bubbling synth ostinato, seems destined to become a major club anthem
(it probably already has but my teeth and tail have always gotten in
the way of being permitted entry to the Capital's coolest nightspots
to know for sure what's hot and what's not!)
Final track 'What Have I Done' finds our guide making the most of
his perfectly-formed falsetto. He makes it all sound so easy which,
of course, is what makes it so magical too!
'Libra Scale' is a fine album.
Ne-Yo has a voice in a million.
It's good to have him back.