Ne-Yo R.E.D. Review

Album. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

Grammy-winning gentleman proves to be Mr Not-Quite-Perfect after all.

Fraser McAlpine 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, the search is over! We have done all the measuring, put liquids in test tubes, trained a theodolite at Ne-Yo’s hat, and the results are conclusive: we have found the most brilliantly egotistical slow jam in the world, and it isn’t by R. Kelly.

It’s called Cracks in Mr. Perfect, and it’s a confessional, but a really, really specific one. Ne-Yo’s gentlemanly love songs – Miss Right, Be the One, Forever Now, She Is – may have fooled you into thinking he is, as he often likes to present himself, a paragon of sensitive manhood. This is clearly a worry for him. After all, if people are looking up to you, what happens when you fall?

Still, it’s an easily remedied situation. Standing before a sumptuous Marvin Gaye backdrop of pure velvet, he calmly croons “after this song, you gonna love me for my honesty, or you gonna hate me for being me,” before listing some of his worst indiscretions.

And these include: being so distracted by all of the women he’s invited to the studio that he’s only recorded one song; spending $40,000 on champagne in a club, like a swine; and failing to use protection when with a girl he’s only just met, even though that would be a risk to his health (her health is not mentioned as a concern).

So you see, we all thought he was humanity finalised, the very acme of wondrous manhood. We were dazzled by his tales of late night romance (Stress Reliever, Lazy Love), his open-minded flirtation with the modern dance music (Let’s Go, Shut Me Down), and his emotive bleat, into believing him some kind of golden god. Don’t argue; we all did it.

Well, thankfully he’s here the set the record straight. And being essentially still a considerate sort, he’s put the song right at the beginning of his latest collection. So if you should wish to continue worshipping at his altar of flawless excellence, you can skip it and retain your blissful ignorance.

Or simply love him for his honesty, obviously.

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