March 06, 2006 12:00 PM

In My Own Words

R&B

Love songs are the soul man’s bread and butter, the way to every female fan’s heart. On the bittersweet single “So Sick,” Ne-Yo takes aim at the genre he lives by, confessing after a particularly painful breakup that “I’m so sick of love songs/ So sad and slow/ So why can’t I turn off the radio?” Yet the tune, a Top 10 hit on both the pop and R&B charts, is just the kind of sensitive slow jam guaranteed to make the ladies swoon. There’s more where that came from on Ne-Yo’s debut, which casts the 26-year-old singer as a baby Babyface. In addition to possessing a lithe, silky tenor reminiscent of Face, Ne-Yo, like his progenitor, is also a sought-after songwriter whose credits include Mario’s No. 1 smash “Let Me Love You.” His composing skills are evident on cuts like the lush midtempo “I Ain’t Gotta Tell You” and the undeniable charmer “When You’re Mad,” where old school meets new school.

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DOWNLOAD THIS: “So Sick”

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