Album of the Week: Ne-Yo – "Non-Fiction"
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 11:10:50
R&B needs Ne-Yo more than ever before. He’s always been able to strike a cool balance between the genre’s classic soul heart and 21st century innovation that elevated him within the genre onto a plateau of his own. Since day one, Ne-Yo has always done things his own way. That doesn’t change at all with his sixth album, Non-Fiction [iTunes link]. In fact, his vision becomes even more defined and, in turn, definitive for the genre at large.
Non-Fiction serves up some of his fieriest numbers, striking a match from the jump on “Run,” which flaunts one of ScHoolboy Q’s most potent and passionate flows to date. Juxtaposed against Ne-Yo’s inimitable croon, the track sounds downright majestic. Meanwhile, T.I. brings that speedy Atlanta flavor to “Time Of Our Lives,” and Jeezy’s gruff grit sharpens the edges of “Money Can’t Buy.” Then, of course we get the ultra-slick and uber sexy “She Knows,” which brings Juicy J back out “Bandz” in tow. However, it’s the solo cuts that assert Ne-Yo’s R&B rule yet again. “Religious” remains as heartfelt as it is hypnotic, and the closing tandem of “Story Time” and “Congratulations” proves to be instantly captivating.
Another stand out “Good Morning” belongs alongside his canon’s most celebrated material, and that says a lot. Plus, we also get the big room banger “Time of Our Lives” with Pitbull.
R&B doesn’t just need Ne-Yo—the world does, and he’s brought out his best work yet right on time.
What’s your favorite Ne-Yo song?