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MUSIC REVIEW

‘Return of the Dragon’

Sisqo Unleashes New Self-Image: I Am a Pimp

By Freddy Funes

With his last album, Unleash the Dragon, Sisqo hit mainstream success, going multi-platinum. His incredibly danceable and energetic “Thong Song” carried him to the top -- to the point that even our own a capella group, The Muses, made a hit out of it. Sisqo follows the recipe of Unleash the Dragon with Return of the Dragon -- chic, strong, and directed to the pop audience that built Sisqo’s reputation.

Return of the Dragon is a guaranteed success with its hit potential. “Can I Live,” “Homewrecker,” and “Dance for Me” can all become hit songs, although none at the level of the “Thong Song.”

“Can I Live” (featuring the Dragon Family) is a powerfully memorable song that deals with a one-night stand that goes bad for Sisqo. The girl will not leave Sisqo alone now that the affair is over.

Sisqo's voice makes the story vivid and the bass makes the song enjoyable. Sisqo does not abuse profanity, but uses it enough to make his point clear. His lyrics, although not captivating, rhyme well and flow to the music with great precision. Although the song is quite slow for pop, its languid progress makes the song pleasing and a better song than had Sisqo sped through it. Although it is probably a promotional gimmick, by featuring the Dragon Family Sisqo gives enough of a spin to the song that it does not become repetitive.

Another single, “Homewrecker,” as the title implies, is about a woman trying to break up Sisqo's relationship with his girlfriend. She calls his girlfriend and stalks poor Sisqo. This song, like “Can I Live,” has great potential to become a hit. It employs a classical guitar for its dancing aura. The guitar does its job and the song does make you want to dance. “Homewrecker” contains an extremely catchy chorus line; however Sisqo repeats the chorus line far too many times and it is the song's weakness. The sexual innuendos and conspicuous sexual lyrics in the song add to its potential to become a smash, as well as make the song interesting.

“Dance for Me” has the most potential to become the next “Thong Song.” Like “Thong,” it worships and glorifies women's bodies, and you can dance to it. “Dance for Me” is quite captivating, abundantly energetic, and a great party song. The song has great character and amazing bass. The lyrics stream graciously with the music. The lyrics are implicitly sexual and their only weakness is that Sisqo did not try his hardest to avoid using profanity constantly throughout the song; however it is not much of a weakness and Sisqo sounds urbane. These traits, and enough hype from MTV, will make this song a hit.

Return of the Dragon is not perfect. Its flaws mainly consist of breaking up the fluidness of the CD by inserting a slow love song following a fast-paced pop song with the theme, “I am a pimp.” This rarely happens -- twice by my count -- and is not much of a distraction from the compact disc's strong points. The flaws detract from the overall CD, but rarely does one find an album these days without a frequently-skipped, insipid track.

Sisqo used the formula that made him famous in an attempt to prove that he is not a one-hit wonder. He did it, although his CD is neither a masterpiece nor a great improvement on Unleash the Dragon. Even with its flaws, Return of the Dragon has enough positives to please the pop audience. The album will probably shoot Sisqo to the top of the charts, although not with the recalcitrance or stamina of “Thong Song.”