Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Ne-Yo ft. Jeremih – U 2 Luv

Keep an ear out for the follow-up retro throwback, “U2 Luv…”


Thomas Inskeep: Sampling “Juicy Fruit” and interpolating “Computer Love”? A pair of singers as solid as Ne-Yo and Jeremih on the track? Not to mention Ne-Yo returning, wholeheartedly, to the R&B sphere that raised him? (About time he moved away from EDM crap and garbage records with the likes of Pitbull.) This is pure Adult R&B catnip, which means it’s also pure catnip to me, specifically. One of the year’s catchiest and best.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Basic in conception, execution, and style, “U 2 Luv” is a love story that begins and ends with Ne-Yo and Jeremih’s nostalgia for the ’90s. 

Katherine St Asaph: The “alt-R&B” conversation has died down, maybe mercifully, but at a weird time considering the lushness like this R&B’s longtimers are producing. The samples (prominent, great) aren’t the only thing in “U 2 Luv” that’s out of time. There’s some “Don’t Disturb This Groove,” some of what mid-10s Miguel was spinning, some artifacts late-’00s R&B — I’m thinking of the autotune, not today’s blearier sort but more fizzy, shimmery, decorating the vocal line with cartoon rocket trails.

Alfred Soto: Because neither artist has excited me since Barack Obama’s first term, I saw the numerical title and shuddered. I don’t know if they sing together or benefit from the wizardry of engineers, but their harmonies twist like creeper vines over an impressive repurposing of the “Juicy” beat. “U 2 Luv” gets better with each play.

Scott Mildenhall: The theory that three minutes and thirty seconds is the optimal length for a pop song runs into trouble when that time drags as much as it does here. If Ne-Yo wasn’t so busy awkwardly turning Netflix on and off during a massage, then he might have come up with a few more ideas for a song that would work just as well, or even be improved, at a length of one minute and ten.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: A mediocre example of the vaguely-’90s throwback R&B that will play on rap radio for the next 12 months. It’s better than “24/7“, about on par with “On Chill“, and slightly worse than “Back Home.” They’re all worse than “Don’t Waste My Time,” which happens to be the one that doesn’t get as much play.

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