Usher in the New Age

Looking 4 Myself — Deluxe Edition Usher Sony Music Rs 499; rating: *** Usher Terry Raymond IV,or Usher as he’s popularly known,has always had a fluid quality. His style of music has always been up-to-date with popular trends,while having strong roots in old-fashioned R&B. His voice too,can be melancholic,deep and peppy by turn. And now […]

Written by Prajakta Hebbar | Published: June 30, 2012 12:56:18 am

Looking 4 Myself — Deluxe Edition

Usher

Sony Music

Rs 499; rating: ***

Usher Terry Raymond IV,or Usher as he’s popularly known,has always had a fluid quality. His style of music has always been up-to-date with popular trends,while having strong roots in old-fashioned R&B. His voice too,can be melancholic,deep and peppy by turn. And now in his 7th studio album Looking 4 Myself,Usher offers an exciting mix of sounds,all packaged with his lascivious personality.

Usher’s latest venture is a follow-up to his Grammy Award-winning album Raymond v. Raymond (2010),which was a commercial success,despite the mixed reviews. Looking 4 Myself offers a slice of a wide range of sounds — from very “hipster” sounding numbers to a hint of dubstep to the some good ol’ retro R&B tracks.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (co-produced by will.i.am) is a peppy track with a hint of dubstep and electronica. A typical tailor-made dance-floor number,the track also has catchy lyrics .

Climax is an “emo” number (sample lyrics: Going nowhere fast/ We’ve reached the climax/ Were together now we’re undone/ Won’t commit so we choose to run away/ Do we separate?),with very ’80s sounding synth pieces and Ushers fantastic vocals. He switches from a piercing (but strong) falsetto to a deep,resonating voice effortlessly and effectively. I care for you also joins the ranks of the emotional lyrics,but stands out because of it’s electro/dubstep beats and melancholy vocals.

There are also some unnecessary tracks,like,Lemme see,which is an average number,trying to be ironic with “explicit” lyrics like,“So you know what’s next/ Perfect intermissions,switching positions/ We so explicit oh”,which are both tasteless and clichéd — as far as rap is concerned.

Looking 4 Myself (featuring Luke Steele) is an honest effort by the singer that talks about his struggle to “find himself”. He also dwells on the past suggesting that he used to be a better man than he is now. But for someone who has titled his album Looking 4 Myself,Usher seems to have it all figured out.

With impressive producers like Diplo,Rico Love,Jim Jonsin,Salaam Remi,Max Martin along with the Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun on board,the album is a wholesome listen — for those nights out at a friend’s place,where the mood of the party invariably swings between partying to deep discussions and eventually to confidences.

Prajakta.hebbar@expressindia.com

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