Music Recommendation – Single – Ne-Yo, “Make It Easy”

ne-yoBy the time I can get to a Ne-Yo album review, half of the LP will have already been reviewed. The question of the song is: Would you still kiss Ne-Yo if his breath stank? Well, in “Make It Easy”, Ne-Yo is just as curious as I am.

The song is a slow(ish) ballad and features background harmonies through most of the song. This track is something that could have easily been placed in 3 Simple Rules (hey, read my review of that here). The gist of the song is basically whether or not you would love Ne-Yo if he were not, say, the rich talented singer that he is.

This is another song that manages to be RnB while still have a modern feel to it. Regardless, something about it feels a bit uninteresting. I do, however, enjoy the general tone and RnB/Pop sound that Ne-Yo is going for in his upcoming album Non-Fiction. You can find that album coming out on January 27th, and it will feature all of the usual Hip-Hop culprits, including ScHoolboy Q, T.I., Jeezy, Juicy J, and Pitbull.

So overall, I would rate this song at:

8.75/10

“Make It Easy” was just released a few days ago. You can hear the song below:

Continue reading

Advertisements

Music Recommendation – Single – Cher Lloyd ft. Ne-Yo, “It’s All Good”

cher-lloydOne of the most frustrating first-world problems is not being able to find a download for a song you like. It’s All Good is unreachable and there is no real discography for it, mostly because it was a promotional song. Sadly, that makes this song being enjoyable quite bittersweet.

The duet puts a bit of RnB into a soft Pop track. The vocals are smooth and flow well with a slightly annoying beat (damn snare). The collaboration starts with Ne-Yo’s turn and transitions into a duet on the hook. Cher Lloyd’s stanza sounds melodious as well, and the two artists make excellent singing partners.

The song is a bit slow-paced and much different from what I have heard from Cher Lloyd (whose music I have never been keenly fond of), but the long notes on the chorus are gentle yet catchy. The song is definitely professional enough to have been on an album. Or on iTunes.

Overall, I would rate the song at:

9.25/10

The beat’s snare drum just pings in my ears too much. Otherwise, this song could be considered an amazing duet. You can hear the song below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Multiple – Ne-Yo, Coming With You; Religious

ne-yoGuys, besides the facts that the sky is blue, water is wet and obvious facts are obvious, I like Ne-Yo’s music. I like both of these songs enough to write nice lengthy articles on each, but instead I will just briefly break them down below so you can hear them sooner. This is a first with a multiple recommendation, though it is only because of their same-day release. So let’s look at each:

1. Come With You – Of the two singles, this is definitely the more “Pop-y” song. Between the trumpets, upbeat tempo, and EDM-like beat, the song could appeal to plenty of different listeners. I do enjoy the song, but it feels so forced in its creation as simply to be liked, that it is hard to truly appreciate it. That being said, the song ends on a great note and blends RnB and Pop nicely without being too overbearing of one or the other. So I would rate this one at:

8.75/10

2. Religious – Song numero dos is way more Soul-influenced, which is refreshing. I do enjoy Religious better than its predecessor, but that is only because I find this particular genre more interesting than Pop. The mellow love song hardly makes sense, but in a gentlemanly sort of way, Ne-Yo is saying he wants to worship dat ass. The hook is rather repetitive, but the stanzas and the harmonies and horns that correspond with them are pieced together to perfection. So I would rate this one at:

9/10

That averages out to a bit below 9/10 for both of them, but obviously that hardly matters. These two new releases are great adds to the preview of Non-Fiction, whose tracklisting and cover art have already been revealed (check out that article on ThisIsRnB.com here). My biggest fear is that the album’s general direction will be more Pop than RnB/Soul, but only time will tell. There are a few Hip-Hop options in there, and I was quite impressed with She Knows, so anything could happen. I mean, it’s Ne-Yo, it will probably impress me anyways.

So go ahead and stream both new songs below:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Ne-Yo ft. Juicy J and T-Pain, She Knows (Remix)

t-painIt’s the T-mix of She Knows that the Hip-Hop fan in you never knew you needed. I have heard quite a few versions of the original She Knows, and while the original hit-maker track was my favorite to this point, this particular remix might top that. T-Pain jumps on the hit and does his part to make it even better.

It is no secret that I enjoy T-Pain’s controversial sound. I also enjoy T-Pain’s voice without autotune. His recent singles such as Stoicville have been impressive without editing or mixing on his voice. However, this song brings the classic T-Pain that Hip-Hop fans have not heard in the last couple of years. I am a fan of both rapper T-Pain and crooner love-singing T-Pain, but this song is impressive to both camps.

The new verse mixes singing and rapping, but the mashup into the track fits well. Especially when the beat intensifies before the hook, the verse climaxes. The song only improves with this verse, and I would easily replace it with Juicy J. Juicy J is, after all, the new Ludacris (finding a spot on every popular song ever).

Overall, I would rate the remix at 9.5/10. The verse starts a bit rough but collects itself, and Ne-Yo’s part of the song is excellent as it was before. You can hear the remix below:

-Austin Heath

Favorites Friday – The Game ft. Ne-Yo, Camera Phone

camera-phoneThis song felt like something that bordered on a “Music Recommendation” article but was deserving enough to have a “Favorites Friday” post. I do not believe I would go as far to say it places in my all-time favorites, but Game raps some real verses and Ne-Yo slays each different chorus with a smooth RnB sound.

There was a time when Game was in my Top 5 rappers, but he dropped seriously after the last few years in Hip-Hop alone. This song shows his talent and what listeners miss from the rapper. The flow is consistent throughout, and the short lines are pulled off well despite how quick he drops them. Ne-Yo, meanwhile, does everything I usually want Ne-Yo to do in music: gives the song a smooth RnB twist while keeping it modern and enjoyable for most listeners.

I am tired and distraught from outside circumstances, so satire and wit are not really up my alley tonight. But hey, here’s a good one: The song is about “camera phones,” which are basically all modern phones. Go ahead and laugh at that, as it will be the only decent joke you get tonight. Actually, your life is rather dull if that is the funniest thing you hear on a Friday night.

Now that I wasted a paragraph on that, I would rate the song at 9.75/10. The lyrics are hard to keep up with, and while the whole “ladies talking” thing may not sound appealing, the rhyming and flow of the request makes it actually sound like a viable part of the song. Otherwise the song is definitely worth a listen or re-listen. Go ahead and enjoy the song below:

-Austin Heath

Hear It First – Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Time Of Our Lives

Pitbull has a soft spot in my heart, despite the fact that anymore I find it hard to listen to his music these days. Let’s face it though, for the most part we have listened to Pitbull for his hooks. Time Of Our Lives is a perfect example, and I do not need a song analysis to tell you that.

Ne-Yo sounds solid, though vocals are a bit over-edited. I predict this song will get some big attention though, not like Give Me Everything though (that song was my jam that summer too). It is a feel-good hit and made to be that exactly, mostly like Pitbull’s other tracks.

So go ahead and listen to it below so you can hear it first:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Ne-Yo, Let Go

I have a whole list of songs worth recommending, and everyday this one is getting older. Let Go is a part of Ne-Yo’s My Own Words album, so the song is a bit old. However I find it to have a serious RnB/Soul sound that makes it a great song to any fan of that genre.

The harp instrumental in the song is marvelous and the beat is consistent throughout the track. Unfortunately the song does not pick up pace much, making it a bit difficult to listen to the end. The voice-over vocals can be a bit abrasive as well, evident especially in the bridge. Not really any other complaints other than those to be honest, as it is quite a good song.

Overall, I would rate it 9.25/10. Really recommend a listen to this song with few listens, trying to spread out my favorite Ne-Yo songs throughout the next few months is going to be hard. Enjoy below:

-Austin Heath

P.S. Song ends around 4:30, so don’t bother waiting for anything after that. Not sure why the video goes on.

Music Recommendation – Single – DJ Khaled ft. Chris Brown, Keyshia Cole and Ne-Yo, Legendary

Legendary is now over three years old, claiming a spot in DJ Khaled’s We The Best Forever album. I have to admit I don’t think I’ve heard a better song by DJ Khaled since this one, and I doubt I ever will. The song is quite remarkable in how incredible all three singers’ voices sound and the collaboration of Brown, Cole AND Ne-Yo on one song, but there is something I want to establish that makes this song stand out from many others.

Normally I would wait to post this until Friday with some of my favorites, but I want to save the more popular hits for that, as this song somehow has very few listens. What people are missing here is a serious hook, solid hard-working production, amazing vocals and a rise at Ne-Yo’s part that is normally hard to achieve without ruining the song. It always surprised me that this song never went big or even gained much popularity.

Unfortunately, it has been more than three years and this song won’t get anymore popular than it already is. However the meaning is quite inspirational and shows a beautiful side of RnB music that I wish we could see more. The lyricism that this song portrays should definitely be spread. Sadly, the words from Legendary are just not what’s in demand anymore. The lyrics are courageous and stand out, explaining how to be legendary without having to be rich and doing drugs and having sex. People don’t want to relate to it. It is such a shame that we rarely hear voices like these singing tracks like this.

In the end, I can not find a single thing wrong with this song. Even DJ Khaled gives some advice at the end, which he absolutely deserves to add as he put major work into the song. Edited vocals are not overdone and quality is very high.

Due to the amazing qualities of the lyrics while still pertaining to RnB sound and a creative but not abrasive beat that keeps up with the rise of the song, I have to put this song in a special category and give it a 10/10. This is absolutely a Top-Rated song in my books. Please give it a listen here:

-Austin Heath

Music Recommendation – Single – Ne-Yo, Lonely Again

Yes, I bring you more Ne-Yo. It’s no secret I am quite fond of quite a few of his songs. Lonely Again is no exception, always sounded like it should’ve been a hit to me. It is quite a catchy song and the lyrics stick. All around awesome song.

Ne-Yo sings about his dissatisfaction that some girl and him have been great friends/almost couple then she runs back to the old guy because he apologizes. He sings it in a more relatable method than many rappers and other artists portray the situation. While he feels wronged he simply says that she shouldn’t go back to him when she’s lonely again, it’s her decision to go back to something that will fail in the end. It’s mature and so far this is the only mature “friendzoned” song I’ve heard. Some may not see it that way but I find it much less bitter than many other men act in a similar situation. Passionate, yet constrained.

Now, for the song itself. Overall I give it a 9.75/10. Song sounds great, no complaints here. I can just see it not appealing to everyone, but that won’t affect the rating much. Absolutely excellent song, give it a listen below:

-Austin Heath

P.S. enjoy this picture of Ne-Yo WITHOUT a fedora, made/spooked my day:

Music Recommendation – Single – Ne-Yo, Slow Down

This is one of the smoothest and most relaxing Ne-Yo songs I have heard. Slow Down has a slow sound but beautiful hook and the vocals are truly incredible. The message is sweet and has a melodic song to back it up.

The slowness of the song combined with the RnB/Soul sound of the song makes it desirable in the future by Ne-Yo more often, and overall I give it a 9.5/10. Just don’t like that the song gets a little more intense at the bridge. Still a damn good song though, give it a listen below:

-Austin Heath