Ne-Yo's sophomore release on Def Jam follows in the musical footsteps of his hugely successful debut, In My Own Words. Like that album, Because of You is a tight, contemporary R&B effort, mixing elements of classic soul, 1980s New Jack, and hip-hop-flavored urban pop fare. Ne-Yo's sensitive, expressive, high-tenor croon is featured throughout, but it's the artist's songwriting that takes center stage.
The title-track lead single, a smooth, midtempo jam that finds Ne-Yo in prime loverman mode, is a prime example of the artist's skill. "Crazy," featuring a guest spot from Jay-Z, is another stand-out track, showcasing Ne-Yo's romantic yet always groove-oriented style. Ne-Yo employed a cadre of top producers for the album, including Stargate and Nefew (who worked on the first album), Shay Taylor, and the Heavyweights, among others. The result is an album that bristles with fresh, crisp production, but still comes across as beautifully unified, thanks primarily to Ne-Yo's sharp songwriting, powerful hooks, and appealing voice.