Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2006

So Sick by Ne-yo

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Ne-Yo shows that not only can he write hits for others, he can do the same for himself with this romantic lament.

Song: So Sick
Artist: Ne-yo
Album:
Songwriter: NE-YO
Producer: Stargate
B000CQM4ZQ

Concept
Singer is hurting so bad from a failed romance that he has troulble change everything in his life from plural to singular .

Lyric
A sad lyric that vividly describes the hurt and disappointment when a love relationship has failed and the singer just doesn't want to be reminded of what he lost.

Gotta change my answering machine now that I'm alone. 'Cause right now it says we can't come to the phone.

And I know it makes no sense 'cause you walked through the door.

But it's the only way I hear your voice anymore.

Groove

Melody
The descending melodic line sighs with regret over and over stuck in a melancholy minor scale. There is no mistaking the sadness in the singer's situation, making a perfect prosody with the lyrics.

Harmony
Mostly minor diatonic 7ths chords in a subtle repetitive loop. Only i7, bVI7, iv7 and bVII chords are used. Even the bridge uses the same chords, just changing the order

Structure
3 song sections.

Intro AABABCBB form.

Verse-Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus-Chorus.

Very easy to follow.

Signature
Synthesizer loop in the repeats throughout except for the bridge..

Production
Simple production, the synth chords and riffs and clever vocal backgrounds make an effective counterpoint for the simple repetive melody. There is an easy transparency that understates rather overstates the emotions here. A simple new synth figure is added to help bring contrast in the bridge.

Performance
Ne-Yo gives the kind of straightforward performance that is touching and credible.

Predicted Longevity
It is the prosody of all the elements expressing the same message that makes this recording effective. The lyrics are fresh and disciplined, the melody and subtle vocal performance and presentation helps it communicate very effectively. A Grammy candidate for sure, but probably not a standout. If not a classic song that others can cover, it is a recording that will bring back to many what they were feeling in 2006.

Album Cover:

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