Year of the Gentleman

 
(i)

 

Introspective crooner tones down the sexy factor.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Independence, self-reliance, and confidence are treated as valuable qualities in a woman (such as on the track "She Got Her Own": "She don't need mine, there's nothing more sexy than a girl that want, but don't need me"). "Let's Just Be" talks about not having to impress anyone and enjoying simple things.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

"Closer" includes the line "I can feel her on my skin, I can taste her on my tongue." "Let's Just Be" includes the line "Let's just be, overcome, by passionate love, let's just be, overwhelmed, by each other's touch, let's just be on the brink of explosion." Other songs, such as "Nobody," discuss women's sex appeal.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The single "Closer" and its accompanying video are being used in advertisements by Overstock.com.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The song "So You Can Cry" includes the line "I rather go have calamari, and maybe a drink, and yes I think, maybe you should come with me."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this album is less sexy than Ne-Yo's previous releases. Although it's driven by love songs, most of the lyrical content is perfectly age-appropriate for teens. In these songs, Ne-Yo sings respectfully about the women in his life, is honest with his conflicting emotions, and doesn't treat sex or relationships lightly. Women are portrayed very favorably, and independence, self-reliance, and confidence are promoted as highly prized attributes. There are some sensual lyrics, but nothing that would make a parent or teen blush if they listened to the album together.

What's the story?

THE YEAR OF THE GENTLEMAN is Ne-Yo's third studio production and follows on his previous success, which includes seven Grammys. Here -- channeling the slick, polished crooners of half a century ago -- he's set out to make an album full of smooth, subtle tracks that embrace his sensitive and particular nature.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Elements of artists ranging from the Bee Gees and Michael Jackson to Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra can be heard on this LP. And while Ne-Yo's silky vocals are light and airy, don't be fooled: This album also has a lot of depth. The songs aren't all about euphoric highs and melodramatic lows; instead, there's a lot of gray matter, and Ne-Yo sings about ecstasy coupled with dread, takes a pragmatic stance against heartbreak, and rails against the extravagant lifestyle so prevalent in today's pop culture. The first single, "Closer," is a dance groove that varies slightly from a typical love song, with lyrics like "She wants to own me, come closer, she says, 'come closer.'" And on the track "Why Does She Stay," he even plays the anti-crooner, going so far as to question why someone would want to love him (anyone want to respond?).

This "refined gentleman" persona might be a manufactured image, but musically it's a refreshing change from the typical suave seducer. Ne-Yo's mature songwriting should be credited with creating an interesting, insightful collection of down-to-earth romantic ballads and pop tunes. Rest assured, this definitely isn't another predictable R&B album.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different artists treat and discuss women are treated in their songs. Do you think some love songs objectify women? What image do you think Ne-Yo is trying to create? Do you think he's trying to appeal to women more than men with this album? Does it work? Can you think of artists who specifically go after a male audience? Do female artists need to use more obvious sexuality to appeal to a male audience?

Music details

Artist:Ne-Yo
Release date:September 16, 2008
Label:Def Jam
Genre:R&B
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 September 20, 2009
 

Smooth

I love the feel of this album. The songs are very smooth, very cool. There is some innuendo, but overall the messages are positive. Ne-Yo praises women who are confident and independent.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written bybananalover March 24, 2011
 

year of the gentlemen - ne-yo

i absolutly love ne-yo even though most people don't liike him i love him i want to marry him and so do alot of people but i have dibs
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byLibstudent9 February 28, 2011
 
he is a good person,produce,writer,and artist
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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