Ne-Yo to release Year of the Gentleman
Grammy-Award winner Ne-Yo, who has impressed audiences with his talents since his 2006 with his multi-platinum, chart topping debut, In My Own Words, is fed-up with the sloppiness of current R&B. "Years ago, if you weren't wearing the right suit or have a correct crease in your pants, you couldn't even get in the door--let alone on stage to perform."
With Ne-Yo's third disc, Year of the Gentleman, the Las Vegas native and premier songwriter has constructed a suite of songs that shows exactly what he means by class. Written over the course of travels through Europe last year and influenced by his own fascination with the Rat Pack, Ne-Yo explains, "For me, the sharpness of Sammy and Sinatra is the kind of style I strive for in clothes and music. Year of the Gentleman is named in honor of those guys."
Like the best artists, Ne-Yo's music has an eternal sound that appeals to fans of all ages. "As a songwriter as well as a singer, I think it's important to cast my words wide. In other words, I am not trying to contain myself in some little box marked 'urban.' I have traveled the world, and I want to bring that across in the material. Forget about urban, pop or whatever, Year of the Gentleman is a worldly album."
Title: Year of the Gentleman
Release date: 07/1/08
Label: Island Def Jam Records
Single: Miss Independent
Buy at: Amazon
In England, staying at his favorite hotel, the Courthouse, Ne-Yo would sometimes sit at the bar and write songs. "It's funny, because the hotel used to be a real courthouse," he says. "There was also a small jailhouse in there where supposedly David Bowie and Mick Jagger were both held at one time."
Ne-Yo proves on the first single "Closer," it is possible to be classy and funky at the same time. Produced by Stargate, the track is an electro-excursion in the glam of Euro-disco. "I just love the beat on that record," says Ne-Yo. "When I was hanging-out in clubs in London, everything had energy. I wanted to merge that sound with American soul music, and 'Closer' is the end result."
Harking back to a late-sixties retro sound, the beautiful "So You Can Cry" was one of the first songs Ne-Yo recorded for the project. Opening with an enchanting guitar resembling soft rain, "So You Can Cry" is a heartbreaking tune about a friend mourning a break up. "This is a true story," explains Ne-Yo. "A friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend and I said, 'Ok, take this moment to be sad. I'll turn the sun away from you so you can cry today." Embracing Lennon and McCartney with the same vigor as Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson, the amazing "Stop This World" should be hailed as one of the most beautiful love songs in years. When Ne-Yo swoons, "She's got heaven in her eyes," there is no denying his passion.
"I don't know what puts certain ideas in my head when I'm writing," explains Ne-Yo. "Sometimes I see a picture in a magazine, a painting in a museum or a word on a page, and that's all I need to trigger the thoughts."
In addition to penning this new collection, Ne-Yo once again showed his writing prowess, penning lyrics for Rihanna, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige and Celine Dion as well as the chart topping, record breaking, Grammy nominated song "Irreplaceable" for Beyonce.
As well recording Year of the Gentleman, last year proved to be a very busy time for the young talent. He release his award winning album, toured nationally and made multiple appearances TV appearances including Christmas In Washington making an appearance in front of George Bush but he declined to attend the a meet & greet with the current President.
Moving beyond the competition by just being himself, Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman is right on time to usher in a new era of "world music."
Punk band Rancid will release its first album in six years on June 2nd, two days before it begins a North American tour with Rise Against in Vancouver, B.C.
"Let the Dominoes Fall" (Hellcat/Epitaph), the band's seventh album, was recorded at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound Studio in San Francisco, with production by Epitaph founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Stax organ legend Booker T. Jones plays Hammond B3 on the track "Up To No Good."
"The crew is back doing what we do best," said frontman Tim Armstrong. "We approached every element of this record as a team, and the result is my favourite Rancid record to date."
The album is the band's first with drummer Branden Steineckert, who joined the band in 2006 after the departure of founding drummer Brett Reed.
Rancid's last album, 2003's "Indestructible," reached No. 15 on the Billboard 200. That album marked the band's first and last for Warner Bros.
The first single, "Last One To Die," premiered on April 7th via a widget available on the band's MySpace profile and debuted top 30 on the Alternative Mediabase chart.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
11 - Denver, Colo. @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
12 - Kansas City, Mo. @ The Beaumont (outdoors)
13 - Sauget, Ill. @ Pop's-Outdoors
15 - Cleveland, Ohio @ Time Warner Amphitheater at Tower City
22 - Cincinnati, Ohio @ PNC Pavilion
24 - Detroit, Mich. @ The Fillmore
26 - St Paul, Minn. @ Myth
6 - Seattle, Wash. @ WAMU Theatre
8 - Reno, Nev. @ Reno Events Center
9 - Oakland, Calif. @ Oracle Arena
10 - Chula Vista, Calif. @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
11 - Inglewood, Calif. @ The Forum
13 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ The Joint
14 - Mesa, Ariz. @ Mesa Amphitheatre
16 - Dallas, Texas @ Palladium Ballroom
17 - Austin, Texas @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater
20 - Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @ House of Blues
21 - Lake Buena Vista, Fla. @ House of Blues
23 - N. Myrtle Beach, S.C. @ House of Blues
24 - Baltimore, Md. @ Ram's Head Live
25 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ Festival Pier at Penn's Landing
28 - Boston, Mass. @ House of Blues
29 - Boston, Mass. @ House of Blues
30 - Hamburg, N.Y. @ Agri Center
Reprise Records' newest rock band Cavo will release their major label debut album, entitled Bright Nights * Dark Days, this summer. The album was produced by David Bendeth, known for his work with Breaking Benjamin, Paramore, and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, among others.
With songs like the propulsive first single "Champagne," the uplifting power ballad "Let It Go," the blistering "Cry Wolf," and the strutting "Blame," the album is a passionately played collection of hard-hitting rock-and-roll with keenly felt lyrics about life, love, and the acceptance that comes with realizing that all we can do is to try and be the best person we can for those we love. "I think it's amazing when a songwriter can open up a piece of themselves and let the whole world see it," says frontman Casey Walker, who writes Cavo's lyrics. "It may not be beautiful, in fact it may be really ugly, but great art comes from an honest place. It has to. And that's what we try to do with our songs."
In a recent interview with Alternative Addiction, Walker said that the band's choice to sing with Reprise just seemed like a natural choice.
"They were the one label who was always there and it just seemed like a consistent match."
After years of playing his music and fighting just for the chance to be heard, Walker said that he couldn't help feel a bit vindicated by the response that his music has finally started receiving.
"You've been playing in a band for eight or nine years, in your buddies' basements and writing these songs, feeling like they never get recognized," explained Walker. "Now you play these songs for people and they are like 'Wow, these are great songs, everyone should hear these songs.' And you're like 'That's what I have been saying for the last nine years!'
Drummer Chad La Roy is equally excited about the band's chance to have their music heard on a national level.
"Signing with Reprise meant everything to us," La Roy explained. "It's a chance for the world to hear and feel our music and an opportunity that many people can only dream about."
Cavo's line-up - which also features Chris Hobbs on guitar,, and Brian Smith on bass - solidified after Smith came on board in 2006, while the original nucleus formed when Walker hooked up with Hobbs and La Roy in March 2001.
The band released an independent album, The Painful Art of Letting Go, in 2006, and an EP, featuring "Champagne," in May 2008. Both albums had several songs featured on Alternative Addiciton's Unsigned Top 10 chart in 2007 and 2008. The band's song "Gone" was also featured on Alternative Addiciton's The Addiciton V.9 compliation released in 2007. Cavo signed with Reprise Records in October of last year.
In addition to Cavo's own songs, Bright Nights * Dark Days features an additional track, the powerfully emotional "Ghost," co-written by singer/songwriter and former Nixons front man Zac Maloy.
The first single "Champagne," is now impacting Alternative.
Songs from his sophomore LP, Because of You, are still staples on the radio, but Ne-Yo is already on to the next episode. He released his new song called "Closer," and at Jay-Z's Rock the Mic studios, the singer told MTV News that he is deep into the recording process of a third opus, which is currently called Year of the Gentleman.
"I'm trying to take it back to where you couldn't walk out of the house unless you looked your best," Ne-Yo explained of the album title. "Back in the day of, say, the Rat Pack and Nat King Cole, any picture you ever see, 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. A lot of this music [on the album], some of it is gonna be urban, some of it is gonna be pop. Some is gonna ride that middle.
"The third [LP] is more of the good [music]," he added. "The second album proved I'm here to stay. I won a Grammy for that one. So, I'm here to win more Grammys. At the same time, I love what it is I do, so [this is] another excuse for me to pen more facets of my personality."
"Closer" has the intensity of a hip-hop/R&B hybrid but flirts with the thump of trance music, showcasing the vibe Ne-Yo's been on lately.
" 'Closer' is a song about being in the club. It's a club record," he said. "It's slightly left of what it is I normally do. You can almost call it a dance record. I'm a lover of melody, music in all aspects. I've been on that kick lately, listening to a lot of European stuff. I dig a lot of it. I said, 'I'mma try it,' and it worked."
"I can feel her on my skin," he sings on the record. "I can taste her on my tongue/ She's the sweetest taste of sin/ The more I get, the more I want."
"It's basically me being infatuated with a girl, and she's dancing," says Ne-Yo, leaning on the control board as he elaborated on his meaning. "For whatever reason, you can't take your eyes off of her." It just so happens that the girl is digging Ne-Yo as much as he is her, so she gestures for him to join her on the dance floor.
In real life, plenty of women are calling on Ne-Yo. He wrote Janet Jackson's "Rock With U" and Rihanna's latest single "Take a Bow." And most surprising: He was asked to create a new Lindsay Lohan record.
"I didn't necessarily pick that," he smiled. "It was brought to me. Lindsay Lohan's people said, 'We would like for you to put a song together for her.' I just viewed it as a challenge. I don't know how to write for Lindsay Lohan. I don't know what Lindsay Lohan is doing right now. But it's a challenge, so I'mma give her my best. I gave her a song, and I think they really, really like it. Me and [Norwegian producing team] Stargate put something together, and she likes it."
Two more women coming into Ne-Yo's professional life lately are Jordin Sparks and Alicia Keys, with whom he'll start touring rhis month. As for his one-time tourmate R. Kelly, Ne-Yo is still upset about being booted off their outing, but he dismissed the insinuation that Kelly is dissing him on the mixtape song "I'm a Beast."
"He never said my name," Ne-Yo laughed. Until the Pied Piper calls him out, Ne-Yo said he can't take the threat of a dis seriously.
"Year of the Gentleman" by Ne-yo - release date: 07/1/08..