14 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Shorty, I ain’t got no game,” R&B hip-hopper Ne-Yo sings on “I Ain’t Gotta Tell You That,” working it even as he denies it. The latest, and one of the best, in a long row of artists melding luscious soul verities with boomin’-system beats, the singer multitracks himself into a vocal orchestra; the result is an album that pays off from end to end. Ne-Yo spins line after line, each a little worn and each freshened by his sensual, witty approach. He’s “So Sick” of love songs that remind him of you, loves the sex that happens “When You’re Mad,” wants to do it in front of the “Mirror,” “Ain’t Gotta Tell You” how fine you are ’cause he knows you hear it all the time. A boyishly raised eyebrow helps get him over, while never obscuring the beauty of this music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Shorty, I ain’t got no game,” R&B hip-hopper Ne-Yo sings on “I Ain’t Gotta Tell You That,” working it even as he denies it. The latest, and one of the best, in a long row of artists melding luscious soul verities with boomin’-system beats, the singer multitracks himself into a vocal orchestra; the result is an album that pays off from end to end. Ne-Yo spins line after line, each a little worn and each freshened by his sensual, witty approach. He’s “So Sick” of love songs that remind him of you, loves the sex that happens “When You’re Mad,” wants to do it in front of the “Mirror,” “Ain’t Gotta Tell You” how fine you are ’cause he knows you hear it all the time. A boyishly raised eyebrow helps get him over, while never obscuring the beauty of this music.

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