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Ne-Yo's 'R.E.D.' review: Dance-pop and R&B

Ne-Yo releases his 5th album, 'R.E.D.' (as in

Ne-Yo releases his 5th album, 'R.E.D.' (as in "realizing every dream"), and his first for Motown. (2012) Credit: Handout

Ne-Yo's move toward dance-pop continues with his fifth album, "R.E.D." (Motown), though he doesn't abandon R&B entirely. The first single, "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)," is an uplifting, esteem-building dance-pop anthem that sets the tone for much of the album, following the feel of his pal Calvin Harris for "Be the One" and "Shut Me Down." As successful as Ne-Yo is at tapping into current club sounds, he fares even better at crafting timeless R&B with "Miss Right" and the stunningly beautiful "Unconditional," which deserves to stand next to his most popular and beloved songs, including "Irreplaceable," co-written and performed by Beyoncé, and his own "Closer."

NE-YO "R.E.D."

GRADE A-

BOTTOM LINE Sleek, state-of-the-art R&B with a heart

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