A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that even though Ne-Yo keeps it clean on most of the CD's tracks, he also sprinkles in some very sexy talk, stopping just short of "yikes!": "I wanna 'pologize/For bein' blessed with the ability to satisfy accurately/And quickly find the spot." It's also true, though, that he can't help sounding sexy -- his voice is so gorgeous that he could make singing the phone book appealing.
What's the story?
Ne-Yo's sophomore effort, BECAUSE OF YOU, runs the emotional gamut -- from sexy and wistful to sexy and playful, but mostly just sexy ("It's not as if I'm not totally aware/That you want my hands right here and my mouth right there/Girl don't play shy, show me how bold you can be/Open your mouth and tell me where you want me" on "Say It"). The absolute high point is "Leaving Tonight," a lovers' quarrel duet with Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls).There's palpable chemistry as their amazing voices intertwine -- dramatic and intense without ever going over the top.
Is it any good?
Because of You is an impressive collection of soulful, exquisitely performed songs. The instrumental tracks are all tasteful and appropriate, with enough musical surprises to keep things intriguing. The CD is proof positive that, without a doubt, Ne-Yo has a rightful place on center stage. Already acknowledged as an excellent songwriter whose songs have become hits for many contemporary R&B stars, Ne-Yo can now be recognized as a consummate vocalist and performer.