In My Own Words

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In My Own Words
In my own words Ne-Yo.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 28, 2006 (2006-02-28)
StudioWestlake Studios (Los Angeles)
Sony Music Studios (New York City)
Compound Studios (Los Angeles)
Manhattan Beach Recording Studios (New York City)
Ne-Yo chronology
In My Own Words
Because of You
Singles from In My Own Words
  1. "Stay"
    Released: September 20, 2005
  2. "So Sick"
    Released: November 22, 2005
  3. "When You're Mad"
    Released: March 7, 2006
  4. "Sexy Love"
    Released: June 26, 2006

In My Own Words is the debut album of American singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. It was released by Def Jam Recordings on February 28, 2006. Conceived following his songwriting breakthrough with "Let Me Love You" for fellow R&B singer Mario in 2004,[1] Ne-Yo worked with musicians Ron "Neff-U" Feemster, Brandon Howard, Shea Taylor, and Curtis "Sauce" Wilson, as well as Norwegian production duo Stargate on most of the album, some of which would become regular contributors on subsequent projects. The singer co-wrote the lyrics for each song on In My Own Words which features guest appearances by rappers Peedi Peedi and Ghostface Killah.

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Contemporary R&B Album category.[2] It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 301,000 copies sold, and reached the top ten of the Canadian Albums Chart. It was subsequently certified platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with 1,5 million copies sold in the United States,[3] and became a platinum-seller in Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom as well. Four singles were released from the album, including "Stay", "When You're Mad", "Sexy Love", and the number-one hit "So Sick". In further support, Ne-Yo went on tour in August 2006 with singer Chris Brown and Dem Franchize Boyz.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[4]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[5]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[6]
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[8]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[9]
Slant Magazine2.5/5 stars[10]
Stylus MagazineB[11]
USA Today3/4 stars[12]
Vibe3.5/5 stars[13]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 69, which indicates "generally favorable" reviews, based on 11 reviews.[2] AllMusic editor Andy Kellman gave In My Own Words a four-and-a-half-out-of-five-stars-rating and noted that it "could turn out to be the most impressive R&B debut of 2006, as well as one of several milestones in a lengthy career [...] It's very focused and surprisingly taut, especially for a debut that involves several producers [...] Its modern approach, interlocked with touches of '70s and '80s R&B sensibilities, is also in effect for the entirety of the album."[4] In his review for USA Today, Steve Jones remarked that "Ne-Yo is the latest in a recent line of engaging young R&B singers but with his own words he sets himself apart [...] On his soulful solo debut, it's apparent that the Las Vegas-bred singer saved some of his best lyrical work for himself."[12]

Dan Nishimoto from PopMatters declared the album a "notable success. With spare but clean, rounded yet consistent production, the album has an appealing azure quality."[7] Billboard found that "though, at times, the lyrics are a bit too sentimental and production is spotty, In My Own Words should have listeners clinging to Ne-Yo's every word."[2] Kelefa Sanneh, writer for The New York Times, complimented Ne-Yo for his "smooth" writing and added: "Not everything on this CD is that brilliant, or that shameless, but Ne-Yo is a deft and appealing player in the game of modern-day R&B."[14] Slightly less impressed, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani found that In My Own Words "might pale next to [John] Legend’s stellar debut, but, even at its Robert Kelly worst, it’s not hateable. And isn’t that all one can ask for from mainstream R&B these days?"[10] Blender wrote that "even at its weepiest, his music, thankfully, stays vivacious."[2] Raymond Fiore from Entertainment Weekly called the album a "confident if slightly underwhelming debut."[5]

Commercial performance[edit]

In his home country of United States, In My Own Words debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with 301,000 copies sold in its first week.[15] In its second week, the album remained in the top ten at Billboard 200, fell to number five, selling 113,000 copies (down 62 percent).[16] In its third week, the album jump to number four on the chart, selling 77,000 copies (down 33 percent).[17] On March 29, 2006, the album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for sales of over a million copies.[18] As of March 2007, In My Own Words has sold 1.4 million copies in the United States.[19]

Track listing[edit]

1."Stay" (featuring Peedi Peedi)
2."Let Me Get This Right"
  • Smith
  • Brian "B-Nasty" Reid
  • Ridge
  • Blaylock
3."So Sick"Stargate3:29
4."When You're Mad"Taylor3:42
5."It Just Ain't Right"
  • Smith
  • Taylor
7."Sign Me Up"
  • Smith
  • Feemster
8."I Ain't Gotta Tell You"
9."Get Down Like That"
10."Sexy Love"
  • Smith
  • Hermansen
  • Eriksen
11."Let Go"
  • Smith
  • Hermansen
  • Eriksen
  • Smith
  • Hermansen
  • Eriksen
13."Get Down Like That (Remix)" (featuring Ghostface Killah)
Total length:49:35
  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer
Sample credits


Credits adapted from album’s liner notes.[20]

  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Kevin "KD" Davis – mixing (tracks 3-6, 8, 9, 11, 13)
  • Mikkel S. Eriksen – producer, engineer, and all instruments (tracks 3, 10-12)
  • Ron "Neff-U" Feemstar – producer (tracks 1, 7)
  • Ghostface Killah – rap (track 13)
  • Larry Gold – strings (track 12)
  • Tor Erik Hermansen – producer and all instruments (tracks 3, 10-12)
  • Robert "Bob the Builder" Horn – engineer and mixing (tracks 1, 2, 7)
  • Brandon Howard – additional production (track 8)
  • Alrad "Boola" Lewis – producer (track 8)
  • Ne-Yo – vocals (all tracks)
  • Peedi Peedi – vocals (track 1)
  • Dave Pensado – mixing (track 12)
  • Ervin "EP" Pope – producer (tracks 9, 13)
  • Brian "B-Nasty" Reid – producer (track 2)
  • Nisan Stewart – drums (track 12)
  • Sean Tallman – additional engineering (tracks 3, 4, 6, 9, 13)
  • Phil Tan – mixing (track 10)
  • Shea Taylor – producer and guitar (tracks 4, 6)
  • Michael Tocci – engineer (track 5)
  • Curtis "Sauce" Wilson – producer (track 5), engineer (tracks 4, 6, 9, 13)



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] Platinum 70,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[38] Gold 30,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[39] Platinum 250,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[40] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] Platinum 1,400,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Reid, Shaheem. "Jay-Z's Picks: Teairra Mari, Rihanna, Ne-Yo". MTV. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "In My Own Words". Metacritic. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  3. ^ Wood, Mikael (April 21, 2008). "R&B singer Ne-Yo "bored" by urban music". Reuters. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Kellman, Andy. "In My Own Words - Ne-Yo". AllMusic. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Fiore, Raymond (March 3, 2006). "In My Own Words Review". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc: 100. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  6. ^ Nichols, Natalie (March 5, 2006). "Sonic gadgets at war with 'Words'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  7. ^ a b Nishimoto, Dan (April 21, 2006). "Ne-Yo: In My Own Words". PopMatters. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Ne-Yo". Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  9. ^ Ringen, Jonathan (March 27, 2006). "Ne-Yo: In My Own Words". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Cinquemani, Sal (March 1, 2006). "Ne-Yo: In My Own Words". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  11. ^ Inskeep, Thomas (April 24, 2006). "Ne-Yo - In My Own Words". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved November 18, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Jones, Steve (February 27, 2006). "Ne-Yo's 'Words' rings true; Cascada's pop flows". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Cummings, Jozen (February 2006). "Ne-Yo: In My Own Words". Vibe. Vibe Media. 13 (2): 129.
  14. ^ Sanneh, Kelefa. "Critics' Choice: New CD's". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  15. ^ Hasty, Katie (March 8, 2006). "Ne-Yo's 'Words' Speak Volumes At No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  16. ^ Hasty, Katie (March 15, 2006). "Juvenile's 'Reality' Upends Ne-Yo At No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  17. ^ Hasty, Katie (March 22, 2006). "'High School' Returns To The Top Of The Class". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  18. ^ a b "American album certifications – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  19. ^ Hasty, Katie (May 9, 2007). "Ne-Yo Scores Second No. 1 In Debut-Heavy Week". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2009.
  20. ^ In My Own Words (booklet). Def Jam. 2006.
  21. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  22. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  23. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  24. ^ "Ne-Yo Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  25. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  26. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  27. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  28. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  29. ^ " – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  30. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "Ne-Yo Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  33. ^ "Ne-Yo Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  34. ^ "Top Selling Albums of 2006" (PDF). UK Charts Plus. 2006. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  35. ^ "Billboard 200 Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  36. ^ "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Year-End 2006". Billboard. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  38. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
  39. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Select 2006年12月 on the drop-down menu
  40. ^ "British album certifications – Ne-Yo – In My Own Words". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type In My Own Words in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]