In addition to his previous two best-selling albums,”In My Own Words” and “Because of You,” Ne-Yo returned with his very chic and appropriately titled album, “Year of the Gentleman.” For the past few years, Ne-Yo has been credited for writing some of the most popular songs known to date, such as Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” Rihanna’s “Take a Bow,” and Mario’s “Let Me Love You.” It’s safe to say that Ne-Yo has continued along this streak of hit songs with the already released singles from his album, such as “Miss Independent,” and “Closer.” This album gives you a Frank Sinatra kind of feel. Ne-Yo has said that he was inspired by the likes of Elton John and Billy Joel for this album.
Standout tracks are “Mad,” “Single,” “So You Can Cry,” and “Lie to Me.” “Mad” is your typical song of a man frustrated with arguing with his woman. However, Ne-Yo makes this song so beautiful with his clear tones and sweet lyrics. “I don’t want you to go to bed mad at me.” What woman wouldn’t melt over words such as these? “Single,” is a smooth track where Ne-Yo tells a woman, “If you are single, while the deejay plays this single, I will be your boyfriend until this song goes off.” That line may sound kind of crazy, but Ne-Yo always finds a way to make a song interesting, and once you understand what it is that he is saying, it is kind of hard not to fall in love with it and the very sensual vibe it creates. “So You Can Cry” has amazing lyrics, and a much laid back beat. “There will be pain but life goes on, with everyday a brand new song.” This should be everyone’s life motto, words spoken so true. This song is very beautiful, in that, it portrays a man lifting up a woman and standing by her side even though she has been hurt. He says, “I’ll ask the sun to shine away from you today so you can cry/If that’s what you want, all right;” very sweet. “Lie to Me” switches it up and talks about a man hurting because a woman is cheating, and he asking her desperately to keep lying, to spare him the pain. He says, “I don’t want to know what I know to be true.” That line is deep, and it sums up the overall message of the song. This track has a very sick beat, it really aids in helping you feel the music and the message. There is nothing like being able to connect with a song through a beat, even if you can’t relate with the lyrics.
There is no doubt that Ne-Yo has extraordinary song writing capabilities. Even though he may receive negative press about his sexuality, there is just no denying the greatness of this album or him as an artist and gentleman. He, truly, is someone that everyone can be a fan of, and most importantly, this album is well worth the listening time. Overall, “Year of the Gentleman” deserves an A+ and I can’t wait for his fourth album release.