Usher not ‘Looking 4’ himself
Posted on Jun 27, 2012 in Features
Wouldn’t call this a comeback, but he is most definitely back! Usher’s seventh studio album, “Looking 4 Myself” was released June 12 and is the number one album in the country. Usher has been one of the best and most consistent artists of this generation. He has spawned number one singles from almost every album he ever released and is one of the few real entertainers left in the industry. All that being said, his latest effort doesn’t disappoint. Even so, it didn’t live up to the hype that is Usher when it came to first-week sales.
“Looking 4 Myself” sold 128,000 copies its first week. Though not his lowest to date, he has pulled in much larger numbers in the last couple of years alone. He didn’t have any true U.S. promotions during his album release week due to obligations in another country. This would be a bit more acceptable if Beyonce, basically the female equivalent to Usher, hadn’t faced the same predicament last summer and managed more than 300k. Regardless of why he didn’t pull in more, this isn’t that crazy with how bad album sales have gotten in the music industry. The album is still a great body of work and will probably receive better recognition over time.
The records first single, “Climax,” should probably be in the top five best Usher songs ever to be released, if such a thing existed. It is a beautiful song both sonically and lyrically that covers the breaking point of a relationship. The song is very relatable and gained much buzz quickly when it was released back in February. It doesn’t seem that long ago, being that it still gets major radio circulation and is still sitting comfortably atop Billboard’s R&B chart at number one. The single also peaked at number 17 on the Hot 100. It brought such a fresh sound to everyone’s ears and was by far an amazing lead single for this album.
The second single, “Scream,” is a dance track that is currently number 11 on the Hot 100. It is a bit of a new direction for Usher when compared to the sound of his albums in the past. Then there’s his new urban single, “Lemme See,” featuring Rick Ross, which is number six on the R&B chart.
“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” (quite befitting when describing Usher himself) introduces the record and is a great blend of urban and pop, which is basically the sound of this album as a whole.
“I Care for U” is a striking love song with a fresh sound and nice vocals. “Twisted,” featuring Pharrell, is a retro-groove infused track that is out of the box and appreciated. “Numb” and “Euphoria” are amazing dance tracks on the record. “Lessons for the Lover,” “What Happened to U” and “Dive” are superb R&B tracks on the album that will definitely remind all the old Usher fans why they fell in love with him. The four deluxe songs are nice additions. “I.F.U.” is the best of the four, and it is all kinds of smooth with lyrics like, “I think sex was made for strangers, making love is for the ones who plan to stay together.”
Overall, this album truly delivers. It has been a while since any male artist has delivered such a fresh, coherent and pleasing body of work. “Looking 4 Myself” is definitely worth the purchase.