R&B concept album about binmen turned superheroes. Yup.
Rating: 6 / 10
Edwin McFee, 29 Nov 2010
If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by the lack of lyrical imagination in modern day R&B, then worry no more readers, as one of the genre’s leading lights Ne-Yo has taken the unprecedented step of making a concept album based around three binmen (Jerome, Clyde and Leroy) who are offered all their hearts’ desires and turned into superheroes – the catch being that it’ll be taken away from them if they fall in love. And, while the idea won’t give Stan Lee any sleepless nights, we have to applaud the songwriter for his bravery and desire to offer us something new.
The music, on the other hand, is a rather traditional affair. It’s still silky smooth, and the likes of recent singles ‘Beautiful Monster,’ ‘Champagne Life’ and the effortless and super cool ‘One In A Million’ are sure to become staples of the scene in a few years time. While the comparisons to Michael Jackson’s Moonraker project are obvious, Ne-Yo backs up his comic book influenced fourth album with plenty of killer cuts to ensure he remains at the top of the nu-soul tree. By wisely opting to write about characters rather than himself, the singer also manages to keep his brand shrouded in mystery. And in an age where most pop stars are keen to tell the world they’re über lady-botherers, it comes as a refreshing and welcome alternative.
Key Track: ‘Makin’ A Movie’