“It’s a little bit of alternative, a little bit of pop, a little bit of rock,” he told MTV News this week. “I basically stepped outside of my comfort zone and I came up with something that I can honestly say is for everyone.
“This album is about diversity,” he continued. “I think that one of the emphases will be that a gentleman is diverse.”
And while his production partners for the album were mostly familiar faces, there’s at least one new man on the team. “I worked with all the normal people that I work with — [like] Stargate — but J.R. Rotem [Britney Spears, 50 Cent] is one of the newer cats that I’ve worked with,” he said. The album also features Fall Out Boy singer Patrick Stump.
While it remains to be seen what his fans will make of the new sounds, Ne-Yo has already gotten the seal of approval from the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, with whom he’s been collaborating recently.
“He told me that he likes the way I do Michael Jackson,” Ne-Yo said back in June about the track “Nobody.” “I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, ’When you do that, it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to copy me or trying to be me. It feels like you’re complimenting me.’ And that’s what I’m doing. It means the world that he liked it.”