Label: Def Soul
On paper, what sets Ne-Yo's fourth album apart is its wacky concept. Libra Scale is apparently the story of a crew of garbage men turned soul superheroes who must choose between fame, fortune and phenomenal cosmic powers -- and love, twue wuv. But in terms of the actual music, it's still pretty unique. In place of the sleek dance-pop grooves that have infiltrated every other corner of pop in 2010 are silky slow jams and refreshingly old-school, Michael Jackson-steeped funk-hop. And in place of the flat, affectless vocals many singers are adopting is Ne-Yo, crooning his guts out.