x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Year of Gentlemen, Ne-Yo

It's all just too refined and polished, not very original, and, writes Tanya Hanna, a bit cheesy.

Ne-Yo is part of a new group of R&B artists who have achieved success as songwriters for other performers before recording their own material. He has created hit after hit for artists like Rihanna (her top-10 song Unfaithful), Beyoncé (her No 1 smash Irreplaceable), and Mario (Let Me Love You). He has also written for Whitney Houston, Céline Dion, Britney Spears, Corbin Bleu, Enrique Iglesias and many others. On his own account, he has also gathered seven top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and two No 1 albums on the Billboard 200. As the title suggests, most of the songs on his third album relate to him being a gentleman to women while maintaining his smooth approach. In Miss Independent he praises career women. In Why Does She Stay? he shows his insecurities. In So You Can Cry, he helps his woman through tough times. But given his track record, this album is a bit of a disappointment. There are piano and acoustic guitar melodies, romantic lyrics, yearning vocals and slow tempos, but none of it has much appeal. It's all just too refined and polished, not very original, and a bit cheesy.