[Album Review] Ne-Yo - "Libra Scale"
For Ne-Yo’s fourth studio album Libra Scale, the singer/songwriter opts to go the route of concept album where normal men are given super powers along with fortune and fame. The catch is that they cannot fall in love or else risk losing all of their powers entirely. Different right? But while the concept is interestingly woven into the album without sacrificing the music, it must be noted that Libra Scale and its songs are to be individually appreciated as the singer has matured into a force to be reckoned with in an industry littered with hypersexual songs and elementary songwriting.
At a slim 10 songs, Libra Scale delivers in a dosage that isn’t too much to digest. Ne-Yo continues to demonstrate his excellence as a songwriter on songs like lead single “Champagne Life” where he simply requests that everyone enjoy the good life and the sassy courtship jam “Know Your Name.” The slinky “Telekinesis” follows the albums theme as Ne-Yo employs his super powers for a round of mind sex with his lady subject. The good thing here is that the songs can stand alone without the concept and achieve the same impact. That’s the brilliance of “Libra Scale.”
Ne-Yo has also made no bones about his affinity for the late, great Michael Jackson. There are subtle injections of The King of Pop’s influence scattered throughout the album. The finest moment is the album’s closer “What Have I Done” which oozes of MJ’s vocal arrangements and production pulled into the new millennium, without sounding ripped off. It’s the perfect closer to Ne-Yo’s tale of the struggle between love and life.
It may be slim at ten tracks, but there’s no need for Ne-Yo to beat you over the head with music. He’s good enough to pop in to remind those who forgot about his talent and disappear while leaving everyone yearning for more. That is a super power in itself.
Rating: 4 out of 5