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Year of the Gentleman [Bonus Track]

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Ne-Yo 12/9/2008

Review

Apart from a little more drama, a notion set with the desperate urgency of opening track "Closer," not much makes Year of the Gentleman, Ne-Yo's third album in as many years, all that different from In My Own Words or Because of You. If there are any real shake-ups in the songwriter/singer's m.o., they are subtle, not glaring, typically evident only in the production wrinkles brought by his collaborators. Had each album been separated by a few years of inactivity, this lack of change might be an issue, but since breaking out with Mario's "Let Me Love You" in 2004, Ne-Yo has been nothing if not steady and consistent, a constant presence in the R&B chart who probably could not devise a gimmick if his career depended upon it -- unless you hold those natural and often uncanny Michael Jackson vocalisms, as present as ever throughout highlight "Nobody," against him. What makes the album slightly less satisfying than Ne-Yo's first two albums is that the ballads are slightly sappier and overwrought. The odds are in his favor, however, that no one has written a more gorgeous song about slothful self-loathing. That song, "Why Does She Stay," forms the front end of a two-track patch of glorious gloom -- the album's center, both literally and figuratively -- complemented by "Fade into the Background," where he watches the one who got away get married. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Closer Ne-Yo 3:53
  3. 2 Nobody Ne-Yo 3:7
  4. 3 Single Ne-Yo 4:17
  5. 4 Mad Ne-Yo 4:12
  6. 5 Miss Independent Ne-Yo 3:49
  7. 6 Why Does She Stay Ne-Yo 4:33
  8. 7 Fade Into The Background Ne-Yo 3:17
  9. 8 So You Can Cry Ne-Yo 4:16
  10. 9 Part Of The List Ne-Yo 4:8
  11. 10 Back To What You Know Ne-Yo 4:8
  12. 11 Lie To Me Ne-Yo 4:26
  13. 12 Stop This World Ne-Yo 4:21
  14. 13 She Got Her Own Jamie Foxx 5:32

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