Please let there be another Gentlemenlike on the way!
Ne-Yo may have been having some hard times when it comes to selling his own albums in recent years, but that doesn’t at all diminish his talent. The singer/songwriter has been busy in recent weeks, putting out a Humble (Remix) and a solid triet (Is that a word? Probably not.) with Candice Boyd and RaVaughn Brown with More Than I Should. We thought that might be it and that he would hold everything else back for either an album or a mixtape release, but then he dropped two solid bombs on us over the Memorial Day weekend and we are hoping there’s a lot more to come.
Another Love Song is a great track that has the singer confessing the feel good love that the object of his affection brings to him as they move through life together. The upbeat, funky production is perfect for a song like this, as it makes you feel good and happy and really reflects the theme. The bassline adds a nice bottom and gives good support to Ne-Yo’s tenor vocals in a way that still keeps him front and center as the singer but doesn’t depress the mood like heavier bassline would. The lyrics are a little cliché, but not so much that you tune out what he is saying and they are relatable with enough solid imagery that you can feel like this song might have just been written for/about you.
Earn Ur Love is that kind of classic Ne-Yo track that ranks up there with his best; well-written and romantic without being overly flowery or condescending. About a man wanting for a woman to make him work for her affection of all kinds, this is the kind of track that you usually hear from a male perspective. There is a lot of emphasis on taking the shame out of female sexual behavior in the world (which we wholeheartedly support), but there is something to be said about neither person in a perspective relationship giving in to their desires immediately. And to hear a male singer say, “Yes; make me work for it,” is very refreshing and sorely needed at times.
The singer sounds good on both tracks. While he never sounds as good recorded as he does live, there is something about his tone that just makes his songs work, especially the ones that he has written for himself. He knows what makes a song sound good and, more importantly, knows what makes him sound good. Some of the biggest complaints that we have had of him (and Usher…and Trey Songz…and Omarion) is that many of his more recent singles have reflected this weird sense of not wanting to grow up. She Knows wasn’t a bad song, but it also didn’t reflect the his life and age in a way that was complimentary. While everyone wants to be popular with the kids, there is something to be said for providing a place for them to go musically as they age out of the club years and start to settle down. These two tracks can appeal across a spectrum and will stick with listeners longer than it takes for them place a drink order and the next song to come on. We would like more of this.