At the start of the year there was a lot of anticipation that 2012 would be the year that R&B will be the leading genre on the charts. At the moment, it doesn’t seem that way.
Usher has released his 7th studio album ‘Looking 4 Myself’ this week. I would be lying if I said that Usher isn’t one of my favourite male artists, I won’t forget moments of me standing in front of my TV learning the routine to ‘U-Turn’ and the dance break in ‘U Got It Bad’. However, a question that continues to emerge in people’s minds is; “has Usher lost it?” I think the title of his new album answers those questions.
Usher’s album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.
Usher preceded this album with the single, ‘Climax’, which set the world on fire. ‘Climax’ reached #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and debuted at #4 on the official UK Singles Chart. Everybody thought Usher was reinventing R&B with this project, until he released dance record, ‘Scream’. ‘Scream’ is the typical dance record that you would hear on the radio. If you’re an R&B fan like I am, ‘Scream’ is the kind of record you’d roll your eyes to. If you haven’t heard ‘Climax’ or ‘Scream’ you can listen to them below:
However, despite hearing 'Scream' I still wanted to give the album a chance. The question is; should I have bothered?
Have you ever seen a shopping trolley full of groceries and suddenly the trolley would get tipped over and all of the groceries are on the floor? That, ladies & gentlemen is how I would describe Usher's new album. The reason I am using groceries as an example is because everybody needs groceries, however, what use are they if they're scattered all over a supermarket floor and damaged? Usher's album has the potential to be great. However, everything is just scattered all over the place.
'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date.
The album has a lot of R&B cut's, 'Looking 4 Myself' is definitely not a pop/dance record. However, the tracks that made the album just aren’t strong enough. There are a few cuts that stood out to me. To be quite honest with you, I only enjoyed 4 tracks on the album and that includes 'Climax'.
One of those four tracks is, 'Dive'. 'Dive' is the kind of record that we all love to hear Usher singing. It’s the sort of slow jam that you will find yourself bopping your head to in the car, or it could be a part of your upcoming sex playlist. Yes, I took it there. If there was a track that I could compare 'Dive' to, it would have to be 'Mars vs. Venus' which was featured on Usher's 'Raymond V. Raymond' album.
Another sexy cut from 'Looking 4 Myself' is, 'Lessons For The Lover'. The latter is a record where Usher gives the lover's advice on what to do after an argument. He drops the lyric:
"Just let that argument, turn you on".
The production of 'Lessons for the Lover' reassured me of why I am a fan of Usher. If the whole of 'Looking 4 Myself' had great production like 'Climax', 'Dive' and 'Lessons For The Lover' then the R&B singer would definitely have a ground breaking album on his hands. Rather than an album that resembles a messy supermarket floor.
However, Usher has a track on the Deluxe version of 'Looking 4 Myself' titled 'Euphoria'. This record is a strong dance record, it most definitely will a single.
On a whole, I would have to say 'Looking 4 Myself' has to be the worse album Usher has released to date. Hopefully, the R&B singer get's it together on his future projects and hopefully, finds himself. These are the songs that stood out to me from the album:
- I Care for U
- Lessons For The Lover