Usher ~ “Dive”
Usher ~ “Dive”
Usher is arguably the biggest male R&B singer of the 21st century, and deservingly so. He produced some of the hottest R&B tracks of the century and two back to back classic albums – “8701” and “Confessions”. Usher’s next albums “Here I Stand” and “Raymond v Raymond” didn’t replicate the greatness of his previous two albums. While each had some strong songs, they also included much filler.
Usher’s latest album “Looking 4 Myself” is an improvement from his last two albums. He takes the right direction with this album. It’s Usher’s most innovative and eclectic album. On this album you will find house-pop, slow jams, hip-hop soul, and dubstep. The production and beats on this album are strong, well-crafted, and not generic. Which is not surprising, because the production credits read like a who’s-who of R&B and dance producers. And Usher’s falsetto and voice sound excellent on here.
Lots of mainstream R&B artists in recent years have infused Euro-dance music into their songs. Usher’s no exception. This has disappointed some pure R&B fans. However, Usher doesn’t take it overboard. There’s more R&B on this album than dance music. And it’s real R&B that’s heartfelt.
Most of the songs on this album are strong. “Twisted” is a nice upbeat R&B track that features Pharrell’s signature sound. “Dive” is an amazing slow jam track. “Climax” is a track that effectively combines slow jam R&B with electronica music. “I Care For U” combines slow jam with dubstep. “Euphoria” and “Scream” are solid house-pop tracks. There are some retro moments on this album. “Sins of My Father” recalls 70s R&B, while the title track calls the 80s.
Overall, I think this is Usher’s third best album and will be one of the best R&B of the year. Usher fans and R&B fans will be more than satisfied.
(4 and a half out of 5 stars)