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Year Of The Gentleman

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Year Of The Gentleman

Year of the Gentleman
Ne-Yo
Released September 11, 2008 (2008-09-11)
Recorded 2007–2008
Genre R&B, pop, dance-pop
Length 48:41
Label Def Jam, Compound
Producer Kirven Arrington, Polow Da Don, Chuck Harmony, Adam Messinger, Ne-Yo (also exec.), Antonio "L.A." Reid (exec.), StarGate, Stereotypes, Syience, Shea Taylor, Shomari "Sho" Wilson
Ne-Yo chronology

Because of You
(2007)
Year of the Gentleman
(2008)
Libra Scale
(2010)
Singles from Year of the Gentleman
  1. "Closer"
    Released: April 15, 2008
  2. "Miss Independent"
    Released: August 12, 2008
  3. "Mad"
    Released: November 4, 2008
  4. "Part of the List"
    Released: April 7, 2009

Year of the Gentleman is the third studio album by American R&B and pop singer-songwriter Ne-Yo, released September 16, 2008, on Def Jam Recordings in the United States.[1] Ne-Yo worked with several record producers for the album, including Stargate, Chuck Harmony, Polow da Don, Stereotypes, and Reggie "Syience" Perry, among others.

Upon its release, Year of the Gentleman received generally positive reviews from music critics, who commended its musical aesthetic and Ne-Yo's songwriting. It earned him seven Grammy Award nominations, including Album of the Year.

The album was a commercial success as well, charting in the top-10 in several countries. It produced four singles, including international hits "Closer", "Miss Independent", and "Mad". Year of the Gentleman has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of one million copies in the United States. It has also been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry, for shipments of 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.

Background

Year of the Gentleman was named in honor of Ne-Yo's artistic influences. Ne-Yo cited the 1960s American group Rat Pack, particularly members Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. as influences, whose style inspired his clothes and music.[2][3] Explaining the album's title, he said he was "trying to take it back to where you couldn't walk out of the house unless you looked your best".[4] Commenting on the likes of the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole he commented that "they're suited and everything is right from top to bottom. Not saying it has to be a suit, 'cause clothes don't make the man — it's the attitude and person. The music needs to personify that.".[4] No featurings are present on the album, as previously announced, though "Single" also features as a version with New Kids on the Block on their album, The Block.

Although Ne-Yo has claimed that he wanted to "take a different direction" on the album by not making R&B sounds, however, according to Billboard magazine, "it seems he still has a heavy—yet welcome—case of the (rhythm and) blues on the finished product".[5] The scene in the background for the cover was shot at the $20 million mansion, known as Pink Palace, in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia.[6]

Release and promotion

"Miss Independent"
noicon
"Miss Independent" from Year of the Gentleman

"She Got Her Own (Miss Independent Part 2)"
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Problems playing these files? See media help.

The first single, "Closer", was released on April 15. The song debuted at number twenty-two on the UK Singles Chart, and later reached number one. On Billboard's Hot 100, the song peaked at number seven, while it has reached number one on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.[7] The second single was supposed to be "Stop This World", but was replaced by "Miss Independent", which was released on August 11.[8] The physical release will be accompanied by a video which premiered on August 21 on Access Granted.[9] Both of these songs are produced and co-written by Stargate. The album was re-released on December 3, 2008 in Japan, featuring the original Japanese bonus tracks, "What's The Matter" and "She Got Her Own" (featuring Fabolous & Jamie Foxx), as well as two remixes of "Closer" and an exclusive US iTunes track "In The Way" (tracklist on hmv.co.jp)

The third single is confirmed to be "Mad" and goes for adds on Urban/Rhythmic on October 14, 2008.[10] A video has been made for song "She Got Her Own" and is the official international single. On May 21, 2008 -- months before the album's release -- Ne-Yo performed the ballad "Stop This World" on the ABC soap opera All My Children. Appearing as himself, Ne-Yo sang the song during the lavish wedding ceremony of supercouple Jesse and Angie Hubbard.[11] The fourth single is confirmed to be "Part of the List". The music video is shot in Prague on March 22.[12] Director is TAJ of the Popular Kid. Video produced by Andrew Listermann of Riveting Entertainment.

Reception

Commercial performance

Year of the Gentleman debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with 250,000 copies sold making his first album not to debut at number one on the chart.[13] The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart, giving Ne-Yo his highest-charting album in the UK, beating Because of You, which debuted at number six in 2007. In Japan, the album debuted at number one and has thus far sold over 200,000 copies and in the UK 100,000 copies in its first week.[14][15] The album has since been certified platinum in the UK.[16]

Critical response

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[17]
The A.V. Club C+[18]
Entertainment Weekly B+[19]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[20]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[21]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[22]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[23]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[24]
USA Today 3.5/4 stars[25]
Vibe 4/5 stars[26][27]

The album received generally positive reviews from music critics; it holds an aggregate score of 79/100 from Metacritic.[27] Caryn Ganz of Rolling Stone stated, "The 28-year-old singer-songwriter says his latest collection of heartfelt love songs is a tribute to the Rat Pack's pressed-suit style, but it's actually a superb concept album about what a great boyfriend he can be."[23] Vibe's Brad Wete wrote that Ne-Yo "is a stronger, more confident man than the one many remember licking his wounds" on his previous work.[26] Newsday writer Glenn Gamboa gave it an A- rating and wrote "for the bulk of the album, Ne-Yo has simply honed his hit-making skills, churning out one memorable melody after another, building an album that finally lives up to the potential he only hinted at on his first two releases, both lyrically and vocally."[28] Amy Linden of The Village Voice said that the album "reconfigures 'grown and sexy' by detailing relationships with an often uneasy mix of heartache, reflection, wit, lust, and resignation."[29]

However, Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson found it "musically uneven and ballad-heavy".[24] Robert Christgau gave the album a rating of honorable mention ((2-star Honorable Mention)),[30] indicating a "likable effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well enjoy".[31]

The album was nominated for six Grammys Awards, including Album of the Year at the 51st Grammy Awards. Rolling Stone ranked it number 33 on its list of the 50 Best albums of 2008.[32]

Track listing

No. TitleWriter(s)Producer(s) Length
1. "Closer"  Shaffer Smith, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Magnus Beite, Bernt Rune StrayStarGate, Ne-Yo* 3:54
2. "Nobody"  Smith, Rodney JerkinsKirven Arrington 3:07
3. "Single"  Smith, Jamal JonesPolow Da Don, Ne-Yo*, Adam Messinger* 4:18
4. "Mad"  Smith, Hermansen, EriksenStarGate, Ne-Yo* 4:14
5. "Miss Independent"  Smith, Hermansen, EriksenStarGate, Ne-Yo* 3:52
6. "Why Does She Stay"  Smith, Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves, Micayle McKinneyStereotypes 4:33
7. "Fade into the Background"  Smith, Shomari WilsonShomari "Sho" Wilson 3:18
8. "So You Can Cry"  Smith, Reggie PerrySyience 4:18
9. "Part of the List"  Smith, Charles HarmonChuck Harmony 4:10
10. "Back to What You Know"  Smith, Hermansen, Eriksen, Beite, StrayStarGate, Ne-Yo* 4:10
11. "Lie to Me"  Smith, Shea TaylorShea Taylor 4:27
12. "Stop This World"  Smith, HarmonChuck Harmony 4:24

(*) denotes co-producer

Bonus tracks
  • "What's the Matter" (produced by Chuck Harmony) (UK iTunes Pre-Order/UK/Australia/Japan) — 3:46
  • "She Got Her Own" (featuring Jamie Foxx and Fabolous) (produced by Butter Beats) (US iTunes/Japan) — 5:32
  • "In the Way" (produced by J. R. Rotem) (US iTunes Pre-Order/Japan re-release) — 4:16
  • "So Sick" (produced by StarGate) (Brazil) — 3:27
  • "Because of You" (produced by StarGate) (Brazil/Australia) — 3:46
  • "Sexy Love" (produced by StarGate) (Brazil) — 3:40

Personnel

Credits for Year of a Gentleman adapted from Allmusic.[33]

Charts and certifications

Chart precession and succession

Preceded by
The Recession by Young Jeezy
Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums number-one album
October 4, 2008 - October 11, 2008
Succeeded by
Fearless by Jazmine Sullivan

Release history

Region Country Date Label
Asia Japan[39] September 11, 2008 Universal International
Europe Germany[40] September 12, 2008 Def Jam
Italy[41]
United Kingdom[42] September 15, 2008 Mercury
Americas United States[43] September 16, 2008 Def Jam
Brazil[44] October 21, 2008 Universal Music

References

External links

  • Discogs
  • Metacritic
  • Blues & Soul
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