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  • Ryan Arnold

Album Review: Ne-Yo Celebrates 15 Years of 'In My Own Words' with Deluxe Edition

15 years ago, Ne-Yo released his first album, "In My Own Words," unleashing his voice into stardom. The R&B artist's debut album went on to become a two-time platinum record. Through seven albums, Ne-Yo has sold 20 million copies worldwide.

The debut album’s lead single, “So Sick,” has sold 4 million copies in the U.S. alone, and it’s still a breakup song for the ages.

The "In My Own Words" 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition features six bonus tracks: the previously retail-exclusive tracks “Girlfriend,” and “Stay (Remix),” instrumental versions of “So Sick” and “When You’re Mad," and acoustic versions of “So Sick” and “Sexy Love.”

Listening to the instrumental tracks was a joyous experience, one that I can revisit over and over again. In these versions, we get a strong bass matched with heavy piano, which cool the chaos in the air, sending relaxing vibes through the headphones and calming the mind and heart. These versions gave me peace of mind throughout the day.

I also enjoyed Ne-Yo’s acoustic versions of “So Sick” and “Sexy Love.” The acoustic atmosphere allows one to thoroughly listen to the singer’s powerful words and the very essence of the songs’ heart. Stripping away all of the noise and beats, we are left with words and guitar.

From "Stay" to "Sign Me Up," from "Mirror" to "Time" – there's a lot to love in the original track listing as well. There's a sense of nostalgia in the air when listening to Ne-Yo's lyrics. “And your memory/And how every song reminds me/Of what used to be/That's the reason I'm so sick of love songs/So tired of tears/So done with wishing/She was still here.”

Yes, his lyrics can be sad but they’re raw and real – underlining people’s struggles in this messy world of ours. Through catchy beats, hoppin' rhythms and a wave of emotions, Ne-Yo knows how to speak from the soul.

Throughout these 19 songs, we absorb Ne-Yo's transcendent lyrics and levitating vibes – elevating our minds and calming the nerves in this anxious world of ours. During Ne-Yo's path to stardom, to re-releasing his first album with his breakthrough hits, our singer's musical journey has come full circle. It will be exciting to see where he goes next. For now, kick back and listen to these R&B classics on repeat.


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