In My Own Words


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Bob Smithouser

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

A man pledges to toss out his little black book if a platonic friendship could become something more (“Let Me Get This Right”). Several songs try to make sense of breakups, with “Time” noting that actions have consequences (“Her love wasn’t a priority to you”).

Objectionable Content

Perverse narcissism leads Ne-Yo to ask his girlfriend for sex in front of a “Mirror” so he can watch her facial expressions (she has already nixed requests to be videotaped in action). The singer rings an ex on “It Just Ain’t Right” to see if she fantasizes about him while being intimate with her new partner, an offense he’s guilty of himself. On “When You’re Mad” a guy likes conflict with his girl because hostile make-up sex thrills him. “So Sick” refers to a live-in romance that yielded a child before going sour. “Sexy Love” uses a suggestive simile to describe erotic behavior, while “I Ain’t Gotta Tell You” and “Sign Me Up” feature predatory ogling. Proud of his promiscuity, the artist brags, “When I’m single, it don’t really matter who it is or how many I decide to kick it with … I’m a man with a very healthy need for chicks” (“Get Down Like That”). Very unhealthy.

Summary Advisory

The title may be In My Own Words, but Shaffer C. Smith (aka Ne-Yo) says nothing original here. It’s just the latest attempt by an R&B singer to prove his manhood by one-upping the last guy’s explicit sexual hyperbole.

Bob Smithouser
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