Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2000

Incomplete by Sisqo

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Sisqo seemed to be just a hot flash in the pan with his "Thong Song", but this ballad of romantic regret shows he can really sing.

Song: Incomplete
Artist: Sisqo
Album: Unleash The Dragon
Songwriter: M. Jordan, "Shep" Crawford
Producer: "Shep" Crawford

Singer expresses regret at having not committed to a love relationship. His life is now incomplete.

A descriptive story of a successful performer who has everything he wants but the girl he once turned down. As the song progresses he gets to the point that he'd trade everything he has just to get her back. Bright lights, fancy restaurants Everything in this world a man could want Got a bank acount larger than the law should allow Still I'm lonely now Pretty faces from the covers of a magazine From their covers to my covers want to lay with me Fame and fortune still can't find Just a poor man running out of time

The groove is slow, moody, sexy, sparse and relaxed in 16ths with occasional sprinkling of 32nd notes in the synth drums. The strings in the background give the song a romantic pop feel.

The melody in the verse is sung simply, intimately and almost in monotone with a couplet pre-hook ramp up at the end. The repetitive chorus is higher pitched, more rhythmic and ends with the title in a strong button hook. The bridge adds even more dimension and intensity. When Sisqó returns to the chorus at the end the background singers sing the melody and he jams effectively and emotionally over them

Harmonically the song is built mostly in slightly sad pastel minor sevenths with a few major sevenths in the chorus. This is pop writing at its best. Diatonic chords are used with a couple of substitute chords pushing the envelope gently such as aa v7 chord in the prehook and a II7 chord in the chorus.

Classic ballad structure, basically verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. However, the last line of the verse acts effectively as a short pre-hook. A (B) C A (B) C D C

Simple but effective riff for a signature, not very distinctive, but definitely sets up the song's classic R&B-pop style.

Perfect prosody in that every element of the production describes sophisticated romantic regret.

Sisqo not only has a voice, but he conveys the pain and irony inherent in the song with depth and feeling.

Predicted Longevity
Classic and universal in its appeal, this record became a hit although it slowly faded afterwards. However, I see a long life for the song and wouldn't be surprised if it gets covered by other singers. HINT - Patti, Aretha, Anita, Luther, etc.

Album Cover: Unleash The Dragon

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