In My Own Words is Ne-Yo's debut studio album that was released on February 28, 2006 by Def Jam Recordings.


  1. Stay (featuring Peedi Peedi) 3:52
  2. Let Me Get This Right 3:47
  3. So Sick 3:28
  4. When You're Mad 3:42
  5. It Just Ain't Right 3:47
  6. Mirror 3:48
  7. Sign Me Up 3:27
  8. I Ain't Gotta Tell You 3:17
  9. Get Down Like That 4:05
  10. Sexy Love 3:40
  11. Let Go 3:48
  12. Time 3:49
  13. Get Down Like That (Remix) (featuring Ghostface Killah) 4:57

Chart Performance

"In My Own Words" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with 301,000 copies sold during its first week.

It was certified platinum by the RIAA in March of 2006 for sales of over a million copies. As of 2007, it has sold 1.4 million copies in the United States.

Critical Reception

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, "In My Own Words" received an average score of 69, which indicates "generally favorable" reviews, based on 11 reviews.

AllMusic editor Andy Kellman gave the album a four-and-a-half-out-of-five-stars-rating and noted that it "could turn out to be the most impressive R&B debut of 2006, as well as one of several milestones in a lengthy career [...] It's very focused and surprisingly taut, especially for a debut that involves several producers [...] Its modern approach, interlocked with touches of '70s and '80s R&B sensibilities, is also in effect for the entirety of the album."

In his review for USA Today, Steve Jones remarked that "Ne-Yo is the latest in a recent line of engaging young R&B singers but with his own words he sets himself apart [...] On his soulful solo debut, it's apparent that the Las Vegas-bred singer saved some of his best lyrical work for himself."

Dan Nishimoto from PopMatters declared the album a "notable success. With spare but clean, rounded yet consistent production, the album has an appealing azure quality."

Billboard found that "though, at times, the lyrics are a bit too sentimental and production is spotty, In My Own Words should have listeners clinging to Ne-Yo's every word."

Kelefa Sanneh, writer for The New York Times, complimented Ne-Yo for his "smooth" writing and added: "Not everything on this CD is that brilliant, or that shameless, but Ne-Yo is a deft and appealing player in the game of modern-day R&B."

Slightly less impressed, Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani found that the album "might pale next to [John] Legend’s stellar debut, but, even at its Robert Kelly worst, it’s not hateable. And isn’t that all one can ask for from mainstream R&B these days?"

Blender wrote that "even at its weepiest, his music, thankfully, stays vivacious."

Raymond Fiore from Entertainment Weekly called the album a "confident if slightly underwhelming debut."

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