Year of the Gentleman

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Year of the Gentleman
Ne-Yo - Year of The Gentleman.png
Studio album by Ne-Yo
Released September 16, 2008 (2008-09-16)
Genre R&B, pop
Label Def Jam, Compound
Producer Kirven Arrington, Polow Da Don, Chuck Harmony, Jay-Z (exec.), Adam Messinger, Ne-Yo (also exec.), Antonio "L.A." Reid (exec.), StarGate, Stereotypes, Syience, Shea Taylor, Shomari "Sho" Wilson, Butter Beats
Ne-Yo chronology
Because of You
(2007)Because of You2007
Year of the Gentleman
Libra Scale
(2010)Libra Scale2010
Singles from Year of the Gentleman
  1. "Closer"
    Released: April 15, 2008
  2. "Miss Independent"
    Released: September 2, 2008
  3. "Mad"
    Released: November 17, 2008
  4. "She Got Her Own"
    Released: December 14, 2008
  5. "Part of the List"
    Released: April 7, 2009

Year of the Gentleman is the third studio album by American recording artist 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.

The album was a commercial success, charting in the top-10 in several countries. It produced four singles, including international hits "Closer", "Miss Independent", and "Mad". Year of the Gentleman reached number two on the US Billboard 200 and has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipments of one million copies in the United States. Making this Ne-Yo's third platinum-selling album and third consecutive top ten album following Because of You in 2007. It has also been certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry, for shipments of 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.


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 million mansion, known as Pink Palace, in the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia.[6]

Release and promotion[edit]

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" (track list on

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.


Commercial performance[edit]

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[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[17]
The A.V. ClubC+[18]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[19]
The Guardian4/5 stars[20]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[21]
PopMatters7/10 stars[22]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[23]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars[24]
USA Today3.5/4 stars[25]
Vibe4/5 stars[26][27]

The album received very 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[edit]

Standard version[33]
1."Closer"Shaffer Smith, Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Magnus Beite, Bernt Rune StrayStarGate, Ne-Yo[a]3:54
2."Nobody"Smith, Rodney JerkinsKirven Arrington3:07
3."Single"Smith, Jamal JonesPolow da Don, Ne-Yo[a], Adam Messinger[a]4:18
4."Mad"Smith, Hermansen, EriksenStarGate, Ne-Yo[a]4:14
5."Miss Independent"Smith, Hermansen, EriksenStarGate, Ne-Yo[a]3:52
6."Why Does She Stay"Smith, Jonathan Yip, Ray Romulus, Jeremy Reeves, Micayle McKinneyStereotypes4:33
7."Fade into the Background"Smith, Shomari WilsonShomari "Sho" Wilson3:18
8."So You Can Cry"Smith, Reggie PerrySyience4:18
9."Part of the List"Smith, Charles HarmonChuck Harmony4:09
10."Back to What You Know"Smith, Hermansen, Eriksen, Beite, StrayStarGate, Ne-Yo[a]4:10
11."Lie to Me"Smith, Shea TaylorShea Taylor4:27
12."Stop This World"Smith, HarmonChuck Harmony4:24
  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • "She Got Her Own" contains portions of "My Baby Understands", as written and performed by Donna Summer.


Credits for Year of a Gentleman adapted from Allmusic.[35]

Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (2008) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[36] 7
Greek Albums Chart[36] 11
Austrian Albums Chart[36] 41
Belgium Albums Chart[36] 35
Canadian Albums Chart[37] 4
Dutch Albums Chart[36] 26
French Albums Chart[36] 24
German Albums Chart[36] 22
Irish Albums Chart[36] 13
Italian Albums Chart[36] 22
Japanese Oricon Album Chart[14] 15
New Zealand Albums Chart[36] 6
Swiss Albums Charts[36] 9
UK Albums Chart 2
US Billboard 200[13] 2
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[13] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Gold 40,000^
Italy (FIMI)[39] Gold 35,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[40] Platinum 250,000^
Saudi Arabia[41] Gold 3,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[42] Gold 7,500^
United Kingdom (BPI)[43] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[44] Platinum 1,000,000^

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

Release history[edit]

Region Country Date Label
Asia Japan[45] September 11, 2008 Universal International
Europe Germany[46] September 12, 2008 Def Jam
United Kingdom[48] September 15, 2008 Mercury
Americas United States[33] September 16, 2008 Def Jam
Brazil[49] October 21, 2008 Universal Music


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  2. ^ "Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman". Island Def Jam. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  3. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (2008-03-27). "Ne-Yo's 'Gentleman' Inspired By Davis, Sinatra". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  4. ^ a b Reid, Shaheem (2008-03-18). "Ne-Yo, Hard At Work On Third LP, Makes Time For Lindsay Lohan 'Challenge'". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  5. ^ Concepcion, Mariel (September 2008). "Year of the Gentleman: Ne-Yo". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-23.
  6. ^ Tobin, Rachel (2008-10-24). "Pink Palace re-priced to sell". Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  7. ^ The Billboard Hot 100 - Closer - Ne-Yo Billboard. Accessed September 14, 2008.
  8. ^ New Ne-Yo Music - "Miss Independent" The album released September 1 in UK according to and September 16 for the USA!
  9. ^ My "Miss Independent" Video Is Gonna Be Hot!
  10. ^ "FMQB: Radio Industry News, Music Industry Updates, Nielsen Ratings, Music News and more!".
  11. ^ Lang, Derrik J. (2008-04-25). "Ne-Yo to appear on 'All My Children'". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  12. ^ "Music Video News". Video Static. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  13. ^ a b c Katie Hasty (September 24, 2008). Metallica Edges Ne-Yo, Nelly To Remain No. 1 Billboard. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  14. ^ a b "オリコンランキング". ORICON STYLE.
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  16. ^ "Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman", BPI, retrieved 2010-09-16
  17. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Year of the Gentleman - Ne-Yo". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  18. ^ Rabin, Nathan (2008-09-29). "Ne-Yo: Year Of The Gentleman". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  19. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (2008-09-19). "Year of the Gentleman Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  20. ^ Macpherson, Alex (2008-09-11). "Urban review: Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman". The Guardian. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  21. ^ Wood, Mikael (2008-09-16). "Still obsessed, yet earnest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  22. ^ Joseph, Mike (2008-11-04). "Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman". PopMatters. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  23. ^ a b Ganz, Caryn (2008-09-18). "Year of the Gentleman : Ne-Yo : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  24. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (2008-09-19). "Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman". Slant Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  25. ^ Jones, Steve (2008-09-14). "Ne-Yo's 'Gentleman' shows growth as artist". USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  26. ^ a b Wete, Brad (2008-09-17). "Ne-Yo: 'Year of the Gentleman'". Vibe. Archived from the original on 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  27. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Year Of The Gentleman". Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  28. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (2008-09-16). "Review: Ne-Yo, 'The Year of the Gentleman'". Newsday. Archived from the original on 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  29. ^ Linden, Amy (2008-09-17). "Ne-Yo's Fantastic R&B Finds Strength in Vulnerability". The Village Voice. Retrieved on 2009-11-19.
  30. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Ne-Yo". MSN Music: January 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-11-19.
  31. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG 90s: Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2009-06-15.
  32. ^ "Music News". Rolling Stone.
  33. ^ a b " Ne-Yo: Year of the Gentleman: Music".
  34. ^ "iTunes - Music - Year of the Gentleman (Bonus Track Version) by Ne-Yo". iTunes.
  35. ^ Year of the Gentleman - Ne-Yo | AllMusic: Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2011-05-04.
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Ne-Yo - Year Of The Gentleman - Music Charts αCharts. Accessed September 25, 2008.
  37. ^ "CANOE -- JAM! Music - SoundScan Charts".
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  39. ^ "Italian album certifications – Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.
  40. ^ "Japanese album certifications – Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ "British album certifications – Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Year of the Gentleman in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  44. ^ "American album certifications – Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  45. ^ "Ne-Yo:Year of the Gentleman". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-08-13.
  46. ^ Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman - CD
  47. ^ Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman - disco di Ne-Yo
  48. ^ "HMV - Music, Films, & Games -". - home of entertainment.
  49. ^ "Year of the Gentleman - Brazilian Edition -". Retrieved 2011-02-20.

External links[edit]