Published on June 13th, 2012 | by Tawann Guice1
Lifestyles Defined Presents: Usher – ‘Looking 4 Myself’ Album (Review)
Every so often in a time amongst time; we all have the privilege of experiencing an iconic artist in music business. Sure we have had our Michael Jacksons’, Luther’s, Prince’s but great solo entertainers are few in number and far between. 18 years ago; Usher Raymond, a young boy at the time put out a video where he was seen singing on the hood of a moving car driven by P Diddy. The Beat was different but cool, but many never truly received the song or his self titled album that was released as expected. At the time, the number of child artists that were present were more than a few. As time would progress; Usher would go on to release several highly rated albums, many of which topping every chart known to man. Some of you may be saying, “what makes this guy think that he can even mention Usher’s name with the likes of an M.J. or even Prince”? Well that is a simple one! Every artist that I mentioned knows or knew exactly what it means to be an entertainer. Its nothing for an R&B or Pop artist to push out a great album and it sell in the millions. It is also safe to say that in doing such is actually the easy part, but how many artist of today are capable of putting out a great album as well as doing a multi-city or international stage tour, selling out the venue and having the audience leave with nothing less than a sense of utter satisfaction? Not many, but Usher has always been numbered among the few in my time that could do just that. Now a day when we log into our iTunes and Zune accounts to spend our hard earned (or parents) money on the newest of new in music and album releases, I’m sure that we would like to know that we are getting the best music for our buck. Usher has been one of those artists that seldom let us down when it came to new album releases. I personally feel that with the release of his new album titled ‘Looking 4 Myself’; Usher has again continued with his ability to bring forth a high level of music quality that is consistent with what made him the star that he is today.
So, moving right along; I will be giving you the track by track break down of Usher’s new album: Looking 4 Myself…
Track #1: ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ – You will find starts off with lots of energy. The Billy Joel ‘Uptown Girl’ Sample feels like it seemingly gets you hyped for the great Friday club night you’re getting ready to have. The track is very Pop trendy as is much of today’s music. I can’t be mad, it sounds good and it sells.
Track #2: ‘Scream’ – continues where track #1 leaves off; just a a higher pace. As I stated, the adaptation of the “Pop” feel into todays music is where artist have chosen to go. Usher is an artists that has always teetered between being a Pop star and an R&B star. Scream leans towards his ability to produce that high energy concert song that would rock a Madison Square Garden to its foundation.
Track #3: ‘Climax’ – Changes the tempo of what you were probably starting to get used to. As first single off of the album; this track is very reminiscent of ‘Confessions’ in which you kinda wondered if he was trying to tell us all something about his personal life. Things that make you say, Hmmm?!?!
Track #4: ‘I Care For U’ – Has made it to the top of my favorites lists. This track is classic Usher and what I would like to call… “Such an R&B track”! Great production to the point were I can see this being released as a single featuring the likes of a Nicki Minaj, Drake or maybe even Big Sean.
Track #5: ‘Show Me – Begins and I was like, 0_O No, No, No!!! Why is this song here? …but wait!!!! Ummm, I kinda like this track! Damn what’s wrong with me? See what I mean? …And all of that at one time. (Go Figure!) After listening to the song in entirety, you just kind of smiled and said, “Okay I understand”!
Track #6: ‘Lemme See’ – Was a track that I was able to luck up and hear well before the album came out. This song is nothing short of what you should be used to hearing from Usher just featuring Ricky Uuuh Rozey. Not bad but certainly typical!
Track #7: ‘Twisted’ – will show you why Usher may feel like he is “Looking 4 Himself” on this album. This song was NOT what you are used to hearing from Usher, never the less; the it was catchy and entertaining. It Made me feel like putting on one of those old, old school zook suits and begin to cut a rug or two. LOL Although produced by Pharrell, this song would have been better off without him rapping on it. Not to say that it was bad; but it just took away from the genre that the song was trying to explore.
Track #8: ‘Dive’ – I was wondering when I was going hear a song like this, knowing it was coming all along! I once said that Ballads add soul to a lifeless album, and brings it down to earth. No more life was needed in this album but Dive brings you back to Earth and gives you something to think about. I didn’t think that this song was placed well at it’s position on the album but it was necessary.
Track #9: ‘What Happened To You’ – HELL YEAAAH!!! Is that the Biggie ‘One More Chance’ intro??? Yup, but wait…umm…what happened?? Damn it! That is the feeling with this track. You’re thinking this will have a full Sample of that classic hip hop Biggie track but then you realize that the producer pulled a terrible April fools joke on you and its June. Never the less; the track is good, and you will find that it more than makes up for its “One More Chance”, absent sample.
Track #10: ‘Looking 4 Myself’ – And here we go, the album’s title track comes on and you’re like… What the F%@# is this? I personally felt like a slipped and fell into a time warp, taking me back to the 80’s were I found Usher making music with Hall & Oats. Again we see why he titles this album, Looking 4 Myself. Next…
Track #11: ‘Numb’ – Nothing new here. More pop sounding music that will remind you of the 80’s Hot 97.
Track #12: ‘Lessons For The Lover’ – Slowing it down a bit, Usher shows us that he can still pull off a more than decent slow jam.
Track #13: ‘Sins Of My Father’ – So the album comes out June 12th, five days before Father’s Day and here he goes blaming things on dear old Daddy! This song was different and interesting at the same time. I actually played this song a few times just so I could fully understand what he was saying. I would advise you to do the same.
Track #14: ‘Euphoria’ – Was exactly what I felt after having reached the finally of this none deluxe album, until going to my Zune desktop software; only to find that this was the deluxe album and not the standard. #Bummer! Euphoria is yet another pop feel song that because it is Usher, you will like it.
Track #15: ‘I.F.U.’ – Is a good R&B song that left you wondering, where the hell is Lil Wayne when you need him? The beat just feels right for the likes of Weezy. Can you say, Remix?
Track #16: ‘Say The Words’ – This is one of those cruising songs that you play when you are just tired of listening to music with heavy bass, or up tempo dance music. I was feeling this one.
Track #17: ‘2nd Round’ – Was a good way to bring the album full circle. The song felt a lot like track #4 (I care for you).
Track #18: ‘Hot Thing’ – Should not have been the last song on this album, and should have actually been omitted from the finalized product. This was an attempt at a Rock song minus live instruments that featured A$AP Rocky; one of my favorite new artists. Why is this “Hot Thing” even on the album? There is quality in the song, but this was a tracks that a big name artist like Usher would have just as soon donated to some ones movie soundtrack.
Usher’s Looking 4 Myself album is typical in the best possible way, and it was what we have come to know and love about him. The album is not about having attempted to make a better “Confessions” album in which everyone seems to always make an unfair comparison to with his follow up albums. L4M simply shows off more of the good music that we know Usher is known to produce. One can’t help but wonder if the tracks on the album were completed well in advance, and it was all about gathering a collection of songs to make one more good album. Out of 5, I would give the album 4.5 stars and would certainly recommend buying the album if you have not already purchased it. Check out some of Usher’s videos below.
Can You Get Wit It:
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