Review of Non-Fiction by Ne-Yo
So what can be said about Ne-Yo that hasn’t really been said before? Dapper dresser, multi-grammy award winning RnB man Ne-Yo needs no introduction. He is a bit of a critics favourite and his style and swagger added to his smooth vocal delivery doesn’t cause him any issues with the ladies either. The charm laden vocals of his early material added to the appeal.
With all of this in mind, we are looking forward to his new album, right? Um, ermm…
So there is no doubting that Ne-Yo tries to avoid the lurid and smutty side of RnB as best he can. He does possess good songwriting ability and although you can’t see it on recorded audio, does lead some of the best choreography of his genre. But Non-Fiction has thrown Ne-Yo even further n to the commercialised sector or RnB where it has rendered a lot of his skills irrelevant.
Now this decline has been happening for a while, so it comes as no surprise. However the production of lack of content on this album feels like Ne-Yo has given up and is playing purely to the dollar. Whilst there are some good collaborations, not least Schoolboy Q’s appearance in album opener Run, there are also a fair amount of poor ones, notably David Guetta and Pitbull (even further evidence of selling out).
Non-Fiction also seems to like direction and in parts doesn’t feel true to Ne-Yo. On She Knows Juicy J delivers “kill that pussy like my name Jack The Ripper”. Now I am assuming his is being slightly smutty and not condoning animal abuse, but either way, it doesn’t feel like a Ne-Yo Track.
Apparently Ne-Yo has promised that each track on Non-Fiction is based on a true story. Now nobody doubts Ne-Yo has a number of stories to tell, but the question is, do any of us care? The album seems more like a hotchpot of anecdotes or poor chat-up lines. However you describe it, Non-Fiction just doesn’t feel like an album.
Overall, I struggle to find a highlight, but its easy to find lows. In all fairness, maybe I have been disappointed with Ne-Yo for some time and that directs my review. Maybe its the fact that two acts I despise (David Guetta and Pitbull) feature. Maybe, none of that is true and on balance the album is just pretty poor. I think I will go with all three of those options.
My recommendation, poor album. Look it up on spotify and stick the ones you like on a playlist. I have added a grand total of none to mine.