Libra Scale

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Libra Scale
Ne-Yo Libra Scale.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 22, 2010 (2010-11-22)
LabelDef Jam, Compound
ProducerD. DoRohn Gough, Chuck Harmony, Rochad Holiday, Jackpot, Sixx Johnson, Ryan Leslie, Ne-Yo (exec.), Antonio "L.A." Reid, Sandy Vee, Stargate, Syience, Derrick White, Curtis Wilson Jesse "Corparal" Wilson
Ne-Yo chronology
Year of the Gentleman
Libra Scale
Singles from Libra Scale
  1. "Beautiful Monster"
    Released: June 8, 2010
  2. "Champagne Life"
    Released: July 20, 2010
  3. "One in a Million"
    Released: September 14, 2010

Libra Scale is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. It was released on October 27, 2010 in Japan, followed by a release in the United Kingdom on October 29, as well as a release in the United States on November 22, 2010 by Def Jam Recordings and Compound Entertainment. The album is preceded by three singles: its lead Europop-oriented single, and the UK number-one hit "Beautiful Monster", as well the R&B singles "Champagne Life" and "One in a Million".

Upon release, Libra Scale received favorable reviews from most music critics. The album opened at number 9 on the US Billboard 200, selling 112,000 copies in its first week sales, becoming his fourth consecutive top-ten album in the United States following Year of the Gentleman in 2008. It currently holds a 73 out of 100 on Metacritic, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on fourteen reviews,[3] and has attained three singles that have achieved moderate Billboard chart success.

Background and concept[edit]

According to Ne-Yo, the idea for the album emerged from three influences: his desire to do something different instead of a standard compilation; his interest in science fiction, comic books and Japanese animation; and inspiration from the works of Michael Jackson, particularly Thriller, Moonwalker, and Bad.[4][5] Originally a short movie was to accompany the album, but such proved not to be viable given time and monetary constraints, so Ne-Yo chose to develop a series of six extended music videos instead.[5][6] Nevertheless, the film concept continues to influence the work, as he has stated the songs on the album are inspired by the script of the film that he wrote.[7] The album features a number of songs which follow the story of Jerome and Pretti Sinclair.[6]

The album's title is a reference to Libra, Ne-Yo's astrological sign.

The album's concept explores a story questioning morality and both sides of the Libra Scale: the decision between money/power/fame versus love.[8] The story follows three garbage men – Jerome, Clyde and Leroy – who are offered everything they have wanted in return for protecting the city against a forthcoming threat. However, there's a catch: they can never fall in love. When Jerome (Ne-Yo) falls for Pretti Sinclair (Galen Hooks) disaster ensues, and he has to choose between his love for her and the fame, power and money that he had been given, as he must choose between her life and his own.[4][9]


"Beautiful Monster" was released as the lead single on June 8, 2010. It peaked at fifty-three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sixty-one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It performed the best in the UK, where it became his third number-one hit. It also reached the top ten in Japan and Ireland, and achieved moderate success in other international markets. "Champagne Life" was released as the second North American single on July 20, 2010. It peaked at seventy-five on the Billboard Hot 100, eleven on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and due to gaining strong digital sales, reached the top forty in Japan. "One in a Million" was released as the third North American and second international single on September 7, 2010.[10] It peaked at eighty-seven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and has reached a current peak at twenty-one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also reached the top twenty in the UK and charted in Australia.[citation needed]


Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 112,000 copies in the United States.[11]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[12]
The A.V. ClubB+[2]
BBC Music(favorable)[13]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[14]
The Guardian3/5 stars[15]
HipHopDX3/5 stars[16]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[17]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[19]
Slant3.5/5 stars[20]

Upon its release, Libra Scale received generally favorable reviews from most music critics.[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 73, based on 14 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[3] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone awarded the album with four stars out of five, commenting that "the real concept here is: Michael Jackson tribute album. And a damn good one." Andy Kellman of Allmusic gave the album three and a half out of five stars, stating that "Ne-Yo remains a premier source of R&B that is both traditional and contemporary." Todd Martens of Los Angeles Times gave the album two and a half out of four stars, commenting that "Ultimately it's admirable that Ne-Yo felt the need to take listeners on a out-of-this-world ride, but he's at his best when sticking closer to home." Elysa Gardner of USA Today gave the album a score of three stars out of four and said, "This electro-savvy song cycle, involving a squad of superheroes and a love interest with a femme fatale alter ego, may not boast Ne-Yo's strongest hooks to date. But Libra Scales [sic] does confirm his affinity for balancing old-school romance with a youthful, fluid sensuality."[21]

Track listing[edit]

1."Champagne Life"Shaffer Smith, David GoughGough5:23
2."Makin' a Movie"Smith, Derrick WhiteWhite3:52
3."Know Your Name"Smith, Sixx Johnson, Rochad Holiday, Curtis WilsonHoliday, Johnson, Wilson[a]4:07
4."Telekinesis"Smith, Jesse Wilson, Anthony ReyesJesse "Corparal" Wilson4:22
5."Crazy Love" (featuring Fabolous)Smith, Ryan Leslie, John JacksonLeslie3:50
6."One in a Million"Smith, Charles HarmonChuck Harmony4:03
7."Genuine Only"Smith, Reginald Perry, Samuel JeanSyience3:56
8."Cause I Said So"Smith, Joel Augustin, Alain BiambyJackpot3:49
9."Beautiful Monster"Smith, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy WilhelmStarGate, Sandy Vee4:11
10."What Have I Done?"Smith, GoughGough3:51
Total length:41:24
  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer


Credits for Libra Scale adapted from Allmusic and album 's liner notes.[24][25]

  • Chris Atlas – marketing
  • Leesa D. Brunson – A&R coordination
  • Erik "Baby Jesus" Coomes – bass (track 5)
  • Tyler "Tycoon" Coomes – additional drums (track 5)
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Kevin "KD" Davis – mixing (tracks 1, 6, 8, 10)
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen – producer, engineer, and instrumentation (track 9)
  • Fabolous - rap (track 5)
  • Tishawn "Go2Man" Gayle – management
  • D. Dorohn Gough – producer (tracks 1, 10)
  • Jaymz Hardy-Martin III – engineer (tracks 1-8, 10), mixing (tracks 2-7)
  • Chuck Harmony – producer (track 6)
  • Reynell "Tango" Hay – management
  • Tor Erik Hermansen – producer and instrumentation (track 9)
  • Rochad Holiday – producer, keyboards, and drum programming (track 3)
  • Josh Houghkirk – mix assistant (track 9)
  • Jackpot – producer (track 8)
  • Q. Nicole Jackson – A&R coordination
  • Mike "TrakGuru" Johnson – engineer (track 6)
  • Rachel Johnson – stylist
  • Sixx Johnson – producer, keyboards, and drum programming (track 3)
  • Terese Joseph – A&R administration
  • Doug Joswick – package production
  • Jerel Lake – assistant mix engineer (tracks 1, 6, 8, 10)
  • Ryan Leslie – producer (track 5)
  • Damien Lewis – additional engineering (track 9)
  • Ne-Yo – vocals (all tracks), executive producer
  • Carlos Oyanedel – additional engineering (track 9)
  • Brent Paschke – guitar (track 5)
  • Will Ragland – art direction and design
  • Antonio "L.A." Reid – executive producer
  • Anthony Reyes – bass and guitar (track 4)
  • Syience – producer (track 7)
  • Phil Tan – mixing (track 9)
  • Dwayne Thomas, Jr. – additional bass guitar (track 2)
  • Sandy Vee – producer, mixing, and instrumentation (track 9)
  • Sacha Waldman – photography
  • Derrick White – producer (track 2)
  • Curtis "Sauce" Wilson – additional production and additional keyboards (track 3)
  • Jesse "Corparal" Wilson – producer, music, and programming (track 4)
  • Kristen Yiengst – art and photography coordination



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[42] Gold 30,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[43] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Japan October 27, 2010 Standard edition (CD, digital download)[44]
Deluxe edition (CD + DVD)[45]
Universal Music Japan
Germany[46] October 29, 2010 Universal Music
United Kingdom[47] Standard edition (CD, digital download) Mercury Records
Hong Kong November 1, 2010 Def Jam Records
Australia November 5, 2010 Universal Music
Brazil[48] November 9, 2010
United States[49] November 22, 2010 Def Jam Records


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b The A.V. Club review
  3. ^ a b c Libra Scale Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2011-03-05.
  4. ^ a b Wilbekin, Emil (July 20, 2010). "Ne-Yo Describes the Story Behind 'Libra Scale'". Archived from the original on July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Fennessey, Sean (July 14, 2010). "Ne-Yo Records Concept Album About Superheroes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  6. ^ a b DJ Bigger. "Ne-Yo – Libra Scale Album Review". Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  7. ^ "Ne-Yo Has Written A Movie Script". OMG,Music!. Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
  8. ^ Ne-Yo interview by Pete Lewis, Blues & Soul' August 2010
  9. ^ "Ne-Yo bringing back the concept album". The Courier-Mail. July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  10. ^ iTunes Store
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  12. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Libra Scale - Ne-Yo". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-11-22.
  13. ^ Bradshaw, Melissa (2010-11-11). "Music - Review of Ne-Yo - Libra Scale". BBC Music. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
  14. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  15. ^ The Guardian review
  16. ^ HipHopDX review
  17. ^ Martens, Todd (2010-11-22). "Album review: Ne-Yo's 'Libra Scale'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  18. ^ PopMatters review
  19. ^ Rosen, Jody (2010-11-22). "Libra Scale". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  20. ^ Slant Magazine review
  21. ^ Gardner, Elysa (2010-11-23). "Ne-Yo, Libra Scale (mislabeled as "Libra Scales")". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
  22. ^ Libra Scale(Limited (Price))【CD】-Ne-Yo|R&B / Dance|Dance & Soul|Music|HMV ONLINE Online Shopping & Information Site
  23. ^ Ne-yo: Libra Scale: Includes Dvd (2010): CD:
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  45. ^ Libra Scale (+DVD)-Deluxe Edition -(+DVD, Special Edition (Deluxe))【CD】-Ne-Yo|R&B / Dance|Dance & Soul|Music|HMV ONLINE Online Shopping & Information Site
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