Release Date: Jul 30, 2013
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Urban, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop, Contemporary R&B
Neon is the final product of a long road of release date delays and endless changes for British R&B vocalist Jay Sean. Issued in 2009, All or Nothing was Sean's third album but his first for U.S. rap dominators Cash Money Records, and following its enormous success he was poised for even greater things. Work on an album called Freeze Time was announced, and over the next few years singles kept leaking out, some of them becoming huge hits, thanks in no small part to guest contributions from pop superstars like Nicki Minaj and Pitbull.
Long delays rarely mean good things for pop albums, and Jay Sean's fourth LP hasn't exactly been ripening like a fancy fromage over the past four years. The British smoothie sold more than 4 million copies of his 2009 single "Down," which featured Lil Wayne, but a lot of adventurous new R&B has arrived in the interim. Compared with Drake, Frank Ocean or Miguel, Neon is R&Beige – full of boy-band blahs and acoustic guitars ("Guns and Roses"), and limpid love songs ("Luckiest Man").
Four years in the making, two title changes, numerous collaborations announced and redeployed or never fully realised: the fourth album from west London R&B singer Jay Sean has had such a difficult conception, you'd expect it to bear some interesting scars from its labours. Not so many. Neon is a smooth, proficient pop product that steers clear of conflict or strong emotions unless they have to do with matters of the heart.