Whatever you want to say about Ne-Yo, the main thing that we always remember about the man is that he knows how to write a love song/babymaker. There is a fine art to melding the two so that they work in both capacities without going too far in either direction, but he has got the skill down. And you need look no further than one of the tracks from his latest album, Good Man, to affirm that.
The best parts of Ne-Yo’s songs are usually the lyrics; he had a tendency to use a lot of concrete, descriptive imagery that feels unique to him and this song is no different. Telling us about a conversation where the woman he loves gives examples of the kind of love she wants from a man, and him asserting that she should have that and more. We really like the way that he recounts this because the tone of it matters a lot. He’s not coming at her with anger that she’s asking or being condescending about the things she’s asking for; he’s saying that what she wants is perfectly understandable and that she deserves love on her own terms. It’s a nice change of pace to the way that songs like this usually go as he doesn’t even assert that he’s the only one that can give that kind of love to her.
In a lot of ways this track reminds us of one of our favorite short Ne-Yo projects, 3 Simple Rules, which has the singer/songwriter at his romantic best. You could easily slide this track in amongst those and there would be no sonic whiplash from it. The slow piano teamed with the bassline that has just a little bit more energy to it than you think are good offsets and keep the song from being sleepy.
We’ll be the first one to admit that, at least on wax, Ne-Yo’s vocals can be hit or miss but he bats it out the part here. At first listen you could be forgiven for thinking that his tone is a little lackluster in the face of the slow production, but you realize after a while that what he’s doing is similar to the way that you talk to your special someone in bed. He is speaking soft, low, and gently, listening as well as answering and it gives the song a lovely intimate feel.
The only down point we can give this song is that it seems to end prematurely. We’ve heard it several times before posting and it really feels like there should be another verse or breakdown there. We thought on first listen that it was going to flow into the next track, but it really doesn’t as the tempo and genre of that track are completely different. It doesn’t kill the track by any means, but it does make you wonder if something was excised for time.
This is a definite listen, especially for fans of solid love songs and slow jams. While we wish that more songs on his album were like this, we will gladly take it and be happy knowing it exists.
Good Man is available for purchase from all digital outlets.