Here’s the thing about Ne-Yo: He’s had tons of hit songs (“So Sick,” “Closer,” etc.), and he’s written tons of hit songs for other people (Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything,” Rihanna’s “Take a Bow”), but he’s never quite become a superstar. At least not in America. Over in the U.K., his singles hit number one faster than you can say “soulful heartbreak,” but we Yanks keep making him prove himself over and over. A few years ago, we completely ignored “Beautiful Monster,” which was a perfectly good dance track, and at the moment, we’re acting indifferent toward “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself,” the first single from Ne-Yo’s upcoming album R.E.D.
I mean… this song is doing okay. It’s currently number 25 on the Hot 100 and in the top 20 on iTunes. But that’s not enough! This song is spectacular, okay? And as a nation, we should stop focusing on stupid things like the presidential election and put all of our energy toward making it a smash.
Here’s what “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” offers us:
(1) Ne-Yo’s singing, which leaps from his sultry lower range to his beautiful upper register.
(2) A nice balance between current electro sounds and the R&B minimlaism of 2005. This means the song stands out in the increasingly generic sea of beep-beep-beeps and swooshes.
(3) The lovely melody in the chorus.
(4) A pleasantly romantic sentiment: Ne-Yo tells his lady that since she’s never been treated well before, he’s ready to show her how it feels. He understands that previous relationships have taught her she’s not worth much, so he will be patient until she realizes she doesn’t have to feel that way. He’s willing to wait because she’s awesome.
So what we are waiting for, America? Let’s do this thing!
A few years ago, Mark Blankenship encouraged his readers to support Ne-Yo’s “Closer,” and it made it into the top ten. He takes all the credit. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.