Why didn't I think of rating albums on this site until now? I'm a huge music lover so I could inundate you chicks with reviews . . . but I promise only to blab about albums I really, really love. Case in point: Ne-Yo's third album, Year of the Gentleman.
Ne-Yo is a great writer, and it shows on this album, but his voice is also kickass now, and so is the music -- he experiments a bit, uses some great instruments and made-up sounds, and presents an album that is a great collection of music, instead of a couple of catchy-but-vapid club hits and some forgettable filler songs. Year of the Gentleman's singles are "Closer" (like it a lot), "Miss Independent" (love it), and "Single" (love it -- I'm not talking about the one with New Kids on the Block in it). They're all great to dance to, sing along with, play in your car, play when you're getting ready to go out, etc. Ne-Yo also slows it down with tracks like "Mad," and there are a few midtempos -- overall, there's a song for every mood on this CD.
My personal favourites are "Miss Independent," "Single," and "Why Does She Stay" (for the music more than the lyrics -- it's got this incredible ebb-and-flow, breathe-and-pause vibe to it). "So You Can Cry" reminds me of a John Legend song; in it, Ne-Yo simultaneously comforts and mocks a female friend as she drowns in her own tears, unable to get over her ex-boyfriend ("I'll ask the sun to shine away from you today so you can cry...") -- you'd expect her to fall for Ne-Yo instead, or for him to suggest himself as a better alternative for a boyfriend, but nope! They're really just friends. Shocking. And refreshing.
He gets really romantic on "Stop This World" and "Part of the List," with lines like "Every night in my mind is where we meet / And when I'm awake, staring at pictures of you asleep / Touching your face / Invading your space / They're a part of the list of things that I miss..." "Lie to Me" is interesting if you're a fan of Unfaithful, which he wrote for Rihanna; it's a similar sentiment, but from the point of view of the person being cheated on, rather than the cheater. "Back to What You Know" is a suggestion for a current girlfriend to return to her ex since she can't stop talking about him anyway. I hope all the other male singers out there are taking note: it really is okay to grow up.
This album came out in mid-September, so I'm still trying to figure out whether the Year of the Gentleman is supposed to be 2008 or 2009 . . . but who cares? It's honestly a wicked CD; it completely has my co-sign, and I'd love to hear from anyone else who's heard it.
Left out two songs, lol: "Fade Into the Background" is a lite funky song about watching a woman he wanted marry another man, and "Nobody" is the song I continually skip because I find it boring. ;o)
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.