Year of the Gentleman
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Ne-Yo selflessly frees a girlfriend whose heart is torn on "Back to What You Know" ("I'd rather you're happy than miserable with me"). Songs note that healing takes time ("So You Can Cry"), and that confidence, individuality and financial savvy are feminine virtues ("Miss Independent"). Shouting matches don't solve problems on "Mad," which desires peaceful conflict resolution ("I'm yellin' over her, she's yellin' over me/All that means is neither of us is listening"). The singer appreciates hard-working, sensitive, loving women and feels undeserving of them ("Why Does She Stay," "Stop This World").
Subtle nods to sexual intimacy outside of marriage are problematic (lines include "Stories you tell as we lay in bed all afternoon," "You thought I was asleep [and] crept back in at 6:45," etc.). Caught under a woman's hypnotic spell, he enjoys "the sweetest taste of sin" on "Closer." A girl working the dance floor is compared to "a sexy little fire" who "can fulfill your every desire" ("Nobody"). Still carrying a torch for another man's new bride, the depressed singer hits the bottle at her wedding reception ("Fade Into the Background").
Credit Shaffer Smith (aka Ne-Yo) with restraint. Unlike his musical peers, he avoids obscenities and raunchy play-by-play, making this effort a step up from most R&B. Still, this unmarried artist's lyrics often imply live-in romance, and he has bragged about an active sex life to USA Today ("I'm 28, I'm rich, I'm in the music industry. Would it make any sense that I'm not having sex?"). He's not gentleman enough to make Year of the Gentleman worth a listen.