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Ne-Yo | Features

Artist Of The Month


Year Of The Gentleman

Ne-YoGrammy-Award winner Ne-Yo, who has impressed audiences with his talents since his 2006 with his multi-platinum, chart topping debut, In My Own Words, is fed-up with the sloppiness of current R&B. "Years ago, if you weren't wearing the right suit or have a correct crease in your pants, you couldn't even get in the door--let alone on stage to perform."

With Ne-Yo's third disc, Year of the Gentleman, the Las Vegas native and premier songwriter has constructed a suite of songs that shows exactly what he means by class. Written over the course of travels through Europe last year and influenced by his own fascination with the Rat Pack, Ne-Yo explains, "For me, the sharpness of Sammy and Sinatra is the kind of style I strive for in clothes and music. Year of the Gentleman is named in honor of those guys."

Like the best artists, Ne-Yo's music has an eternal sound that appeals to fans of all ages. "As a songwriter as well as a singer, I think it's important to cast my words wide. In other words, I am not trying to contain myself in some little box marked 'urban.' I have traveled the world, and I want to bring that across in the material. Forget about urban, pop or whatever, Year of the Gentleman is a worldly album."

In England, staying at his favorite hotel, the Courthouse, Ne-Yo would sometimes sit at the bar and write songs. "It's funny, because the hotel used to be a real courthouse," he says. "There was also a small jailhouse in there where supposedly David Bowie and Mick Jagger were both held at one time."

Ne-YoNe-Yo proves on the first single "Closer," it is possible to be classy and funky at the same time. Produced by Stargate, the track is an electro-excursion in the glam of Euro-disco. "I just love the beat on that record," says Ne-Yo. "When I was hanging-out in clubs in London, everything had energy. I wanted to merge that sound with American soul music, and 'Closer' is the end result."

Harking back to a late-sixties retro sound, the beautiful "So You Can Cry" was one of the first songs Ne-Yo recorded for the project. Opening with an enchanting guitar resembling soft rain, "So You Can Cry" is a heartbreaking tune about a friend mourning a break up. "This is a true story," explains Ne-Yo. "A friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend and I said, 'Ok, take this moment to be sad. I'll turn the sun away from you so you can cry today." Embracing Lennon and McCartney with the same vigor as Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, the amazing "Stop This World" should be hailed as one of the most beautiful love songs in years. When Ne-Yo swoons, "She's got heaven in her eyes," there is no denying his passion.

"I don't know what puts certain ideas in my head when I'm writing," explains Ne-Yo. "Sometimes I see a picture in a magazine, a painting in a museum or a word on a page, and that's all I need to trigger the thoughts."

In addition to penning this new collection, Ne-Yo once again showed his writing prowess, penning lyrics for Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Celine Dion as well as the chart topping, record breaking, Grammy nominated song "Irreplaceable" for Beyonce.

As well recording Year of the Gentleman, last year proved to be a very busy time for the young talent. He release his award winning album, toured nationally and made multiple appearances TV appearances including Christmas In Washington making an appearance in front of George Bush but he declined to attend the a meet & greet with the current President.

Moving beyond the competition by just being himself, Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman is right on time to usher in a new era of "world music."

Year Of The Gentleman
Ne-Yo - Year Of The Gentleman Track Listing:
01. Closer
02. Nobody
03. Single
04. Mad
05. Miss Independent
06. Why Does She Stay
07. Fade Into The Background
08. So You Can Cry
09. Part Of The List
10. Back To What You Know
11. Lie To Me
12. Stop This World
13. What's The Matter
Because Of You
Ne-Yo - Because Of You Track Listing:
01. Because of You
02. Crazy featuring Jay-Z
03. Can We Chill
04. Do You
05. Addicted
06. Leaving Tonight featuring Jennifer Hudson
07. Ain't Thinking About You
08. Sex with My Ex
09. Angel
10. Make It Work
11. Say It
12. Go on Girl
In My Own Words
Ne-Yo - In My Own Words Track Listing:
01. Stay featuring Peedi Peedi
02. Let Me Get This Right
03. So Sick
04. When You're Mad
05. It Just Ain't Right
06. Mirror
07. Sign Me Up
08. I Ain't Gotta Tell You
09. Get Down LIke That
10. Sexy Love
11. Let Go
12. Time
13. Girlfriend
14. Get Down Like That

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