The single thing that I dislike the most about Ne-Yo’s brilliant “Closer” is that it wasn’t sung by Michael Jackson. Had it been, I’m convinced Michael would’ve had the mother of all comebacks and been adored by the masses (not just the always-there fanatics) once again. That’s how good “Closer” really is.
Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Ne-Yo’s always had a great sense of melody, as evidenced in “So Sick” and Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” (which he wrote). And he’s always had a smooth crooning voice that’s always a must-have for male R&B singers. But it’s with “Closer” that he was able to carve himself a real edge. Finally, he’s found a beat (so sick, indeed) that’s worthy of his melody, and both his voice and that beat just keep slamming the listener again and again until you want to dance as you scream and scream as you dance. It’s manic magic, just like Michael used to do it.
The end result: it’s my 2nd favorite song of 2008 (the 1st is coming soon at #97 on this list), and a reminder of just how good MJ was (he’ll be appearing on this list as well, as you might have guessed).
P.S. Just a reminder to all the haters that while he clearly did have some issues (getting in the same bed as children, no matter how innocent it may be, is always a no-no), he was never convicted of anything. Innocent until proven guilty, all.