From The Vault hits you with yet another classic this. Today’s pick is Ne-Yo’s game-changing ‘So Sick.’
The second single off the singer-songwriter’s 2005 debut ‘In My Own Words,’ the track was a worldwide phenomenon and helped establish Ne-Yo not only as a leading Pop/Urban act but one of music’s most notable writers. Its production was handled by Norwegian hitmakers Stargate and its melody-heavy rooting ushered in a new soundscape in the mainstream.
Inspired by a difficult break-up, ‘Sick’ sees the lovelorn singer lyrically lamenting over his heartache.
This song is considered the star’s breakout single, having reached #1 both in the US and the UK.
Although an initial visual was filmed for the track, another was shot by director extraordinaire Hype Williams.
The fresh iteration, which skewed more seasonal and embraced Williams’ then-prominent aesthetic (see: split screen), was shot in the snowy mountains. Perhaps as a means of capitalizing on the Fall/Winter window and its ballad friendly climate.
What a time!
Not since Ne-Yo (and Chris Brown) has there been a male artist who came out swinging like this from the get-go; even Bruno Mars had to secure spots on well-placed features before the launch of his official solo career.
Looking back, Mr Smith’s success was most certainly justified. Upon hitting the scene, he delivered a genuine dose of freshness. He veered away from the Michael Jackson formula that Usher, Timberlake and Brown were so reliant on at the time. Instead, his proposition was one anchored in the production of melodic, emotional, and lyrically engaging radio jams that were paired with striking visuals. A modern Babyface, if you will.
We can only hope he has as much longevity as his predecessor.
Ne-Yo, we salute you!