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Ne-Yo and Nelly :: CD Reviews

Ne-Yo releases his third album, Year of the Gentleman, September 16 2008 on Def Jam.
Courtesy of Def Jam
Nelly releases Brass Knuckles September 16, 2008 on Universal Music.
Courtesy of Universal Music
Ne-Yo and Nelly :: CD Reviews - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Sep 16, 2008
( Rating: 3 Star Rating)

Hip hop superstar Nelly releases his first album in four years, while R&B royalty Ne-Yo drops his third disc. But is it the Year of the Gentleman, or time for some Brass Knuckles? Kidzworld investigates.

Hip hop superstar Nelly releases his first album in four years, while R&B royalty Ne-Yo drops his third disc. But is it the Year of the Gentleman, or time for some Brass Knuckles? Kidzworld investigates.

Ne-Yo :: Year of the Gentleman

Ne-Yo’s a busy guy—since debuting with In My Own Words in 2006, he’s released an album every year. On Year of the Gentleman, he returns to similar songs as on previous albums, but he’s using less of his soul side and more more of his pop sensibility to channel people like Michael Jackson and even Justin Timberlake on many tracks. Maybe Ne-Yo’s been too busy, because Year of the Gentleman is lacking the strength of his previous albums. This is especially true when it comes to the lyrics, something Ne-Yo usually excels at—he’s written hit songs not only for himself, but people like Rihanna. This Year, it sounds like Ne-Yo should have spent more time on his own songs.

Fun Facts

  • Ne-Yo is rumored to be developing an animated series for Cartoon Network called What the Bear, about a rude bear who has been thrown into jail in another dimension.
  • Ne-Yo has appeared in two movies, Save the Last Dance 2 and Stomp the Yard. He’s also set to appear in Superwoman in 2009.
  • Some of the biggest and best hits in the last few years were written by Ne-Yo. He wrote Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, and Rihanna’s Unfaithful and Take a Bow, among many others.

  • Hot Tracks

    Miss Independent, Closer, Nobody


    Rating: 3


    Nelly :: Brass Knuckles

    How many guests can you fit on your album? Nelly tries at least two per track on Brass Knuckles, his fifth disc. With help from people like Fergie, Snoop Dogg, T.I. and LL Cool J, Nelly’s new album has got a good groove going, but most songs don’t step up the way his previous hits did (Ride Wit Me and Hot in Herre being the big ones). Ironically, even though he has help from all of these famous friends, he does his best work solo, on the slowed-down One and Only—a love song for a high school sweetheart that he’s lost touch with over the years.

    Fun Facts

  • Nelly and T.I. liked working together so much, that they’ve decided to collaborate on an as-yet-untitled album in 2009.
  • Nelly co-owns a clothing label called Vokal (Very Organized Kids Always Learning) with friends from his hometown of St. Louis.
  • Like Ne-Yo, Nelly has had another career: acting. He starred in the movie The Longest Yard, alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. But he says he’s not interested in acting anymore.


  • Hot Tracks

    LA (feat. Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg), Let it Go (feat. Lil’ Mama and Pharrell), One and Only


    Rating: 3


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