12 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his second ace full-length, Because of You, Ne-Yo continues his mission to please. Positioning himself as the nice guy of current R&B — praising an ex-girlfriend’s new baby in “Do You,” letting Jennifer Hudson run away with their duet, “Leaving Tonight” — the singer-writer includes just enough sly come-ons to maintain (lots of) interest. “Addicted” demurely shoots down rumors of Ne-Yo’s sexual obsessiveness even as it promises to hook the object of his affections. Conversely, the title track paints him as helplessly in thrall to the girl. But he momentarily breaks out of his mold, getting his Prince-style brag on in “Sex With My Ex,” which suggests that his true love is the game itself. Because is state-of-the-art good, offering plenty of hooks, creamy tracks and more of the overdubbed Ne-Yos that make his vocal work a luscious treat in itself.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his second ace full-length, Because of You, Ne-Yo continues his mission to please. Positioning himself as the nice guy of current R&B — praising an ex-girlfriend’s new baby in “Do You,” letting Jennifer Hudson run away with their duet, “Leaving Tonight” — the singer-writer includes just enough sly come-ons to maintain (lots of) interest. “Addicted” demurely shoots down rumors of Ne-Yo’s sexual obsessiveness even as it promises to hook the object of his affections. Conversely, the title track paints him as helplessly in thrall to the girl. But he momentarily breaks out of his mold, getting his Prince-style brag on in “Sex With My Ex,” which suggests that his true love is the game itself. Because is state-of-the-art good, offering plenty of hooks, creamy tracks and more of the overdubbed Ne-Yos that make his vocal work a luscious treat in itself.

TITLE TIME

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