Ne-Yo: Libra Scale

Def Jam

Melodies abound in the singer/songwriter's fourth outing, boasting fine collaborations with a slew of winning producers, including Sixx John, D. DoRohn Gough, Chuck Harmony and a less successful Stargate. Ne-Yo's high tenor is one that will be familiar to fans of the late MJ, particularly on the standout ballad "What Have I Done," produced to capture the same midnight lushness as Gough and Ne-Yo's "Can't B Good" collabo for Janet. "Champagne Life" and "One in a Million" don't quite rise to the level of 2008's megahit "Closer," but they definitely add rather than subtract from the value of Ne-Yo's prodigious catalog. Urban/adult-contemporary sleepers "Makin' a Movie," "Telekinesis," and "Genuine Only" benefit from repeat listening, something the overwrought "Beautiful Monster" never could. It's with mature, mid-tempo songs like "Know Your Name" that Ne-Yo ensures everyone will continue hailing his. (3 out of 5 stars)