Usher went looking for himself on his studio album, Looking 4 Myself, and found a solid collection of songs that explore a wide range of genres, musical eras, and some uncharted territory.
Like on his previous set, Raymond V Raymond, Ush continues to experiment with the euro-dance sound. Sometimes he misses (“Scream” is kind of a dud) and other times he gets it so right on the money (“Numb” is close to perfection).
Usher’s forays into retro-soul, however, are more dead-on awesome. Songs like the title-track, “Show Me,” “Twisted,” and “Sins Of A Father” mix those sometimes smooth, sometimes gritty, sometimes dirty elements of throwback soul with impressive results.
As far as Usher’s experimentation with electro-soul, no song gets it as right as Looking 4 Myself’s first single, the Diplo-produced masterpiece “Climax.” But “I Care For U” can’t be denied.
We took a listen to Looking 4 Myself and went looking for the four tracks we really think you should know. We found them. Check them out in this ‘4 tracks you need to know…’ review below.
Dive: Usher practices the art of the beautifully X-rated ballad on this gorgeous track. There are no swimming pools involved in this song. Listen to the lyrics, and you’ll know — and possibly blush over — exactly what Ush is singing about. “It’s raining inside your bed/No parts are dry/Loving made you so wet/Your legs, your thighs/And ever since we first met, I knew that I/I knew that I was ready, baby, to take that dive.” Don’t let the kids listen to this one!
Lesson For The Lover: The opening line of this track spells it all out. “How can someone hurt you but still make you feel so good?” Ush is teaching a lesson in surviving the love/hate, S&M type of love. The solution? Sex, duh. “Let that argument turn you on,” he croons. More so than the lyrics, it’s the sultry groove of the production by Rico Love that makes “Lesson For The Lover” a real standout.
I Care For U: Sometimes words aren’t enough. You have to match that with action. When Usher doesn’t show his lady his true feelings, she goes out to find someone else who will show her that attention in “I Care For U.” But Ush promises that even though his feelings don’t always show, she’s the one in his heart. “By now you should know that I care for you,” Ush sings over an intoxicating electro-meets-R&B beat. The last 30 seconds of the track features some of the best vocal moments on the album.
Twisted: Well, hello, falsetto! Usher gets his voice is high up in the clouds more than a few times while his feet are planted firmly on the dancefloor to twist it to the left and twist it to the right on this funky, retro-soul jam, produced by and featuring Pharrell Williams. “You got it twisted/Now tell me why you wanna do me that way?” Ush sings on the chorus. This song is just begging for a Soul Train-inspired video. Make that happen, Ush.