Ne-Yo is one of today's best young R&B songwriters. Mario's “Let Me Love You,” Beyonce's “Irreplaceable” and Rihanna's “Unfaithful” are just a few of the hits he's penned for other artists, not to mention his own radio smashes, “So Sick” and “Sexy Love” from his No. 1 debut, In My Own Words .

Once again, Ne-Yo drops another chart-topper. The first single “Because of You” from his sophomore CD follows the Grammy-nominated singer's winning formula: It's sentimental and groovy. The second single, “Do You,” picks up where “So Sick” left off.

His only album guests are Jay-Z and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, impressive considering most of today's hip-hop and R&B albums are crammed with cameos.

The 25-year phenom is extremely gifted at capturing emotion, then delivering it in his soulfully sweet voice. Let's hope Ne-Yo has the longevity of any one of his idols: Prince, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

Grade: B+

—Jessica Koslow

Because of You is currently available