Album Review: Usher's Looking 4 Myself

By Vanessa Butler

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Usher releases a great Summer R&B Album Looking 4 Myself


Usher’s latest album is a monster. It’s no surprise, since he has been one of the largest musical staples since the early ’90s, an unbelievable feat in the inconsistent music industry, so we couldn’t expect anything less. Usher’s seventh studio album, Looking 4 Myself, which drops today, paints a comprehensive picture of what’s going on in his personal life, showcases who he’s been collaborating with over the past couple of months and demonstrates how he’s grown musically since his first album in 1994. Save for the lackluster, overproduced album opener “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” produced by will.i.am, it’s likely that it’s the best R&B album to come out this year.

Clocking in at about an hour, this 14-track album pulls inspiration from eras and genres which, if anyone else attempted it, would sound all over the map. For example, “Twisted,” which features Pharrell, is chock-full of sounds and breakdowns Pharrell is known for, like heavy percussions and bass breakdowns. On the other side of the spectrum is the title track “Looking 4 Myself,” penned by songwriter extraordinaire Rico Love: Usher delivers the lyrics in a hard-to-define “speak-singing”  way which sounds nothing like anything else on the record. And yes, there are the tracks in which Usher sings in his signature falsetto voice, like “Dive” and “Lemme See,” which features Rick Ross.

We also love the dance track collaborations Usher has done with the Swedish House Mafia. Every single track has summer written all over it! Closing the album with the glittery dance track “Euphoria” makes you want to hit the play button to listen to the whole album all over again.

On paper, conjoining ’60s retro soul and common-day synth-heavy tracks sounds offensive to the ears. But leave it to Usher to deliver a solid album with just those traits. We look forward to spending many hot and sweaty nights dancing until dawn with this album spinning, and we think you’ll look forward to it too.

Best Tracks: “Numb,” “Looking 4 Myself,” “Sins of My Father,” “Show Me”

Skip These: “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” “Lessons for the Lover”

 


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