We expected Usher‘s Looking 4 Myself, his first album since 2010′s Raymond v. Raymond, to be a nonstop dance party (with the exception of lead single and standout “Climax”). As it turns out, Looking 4 Myself is a surprisingly diverse album, and though the majority of the 14 tracks dip into the currently popular electro-dance trend, Usher manages to hit four distinctly different musical quadrants: sexy R&B slow jams, EDM offerings, retro throwbacks, and introspective midtempo tunes. Listen to one song from each category below!
Sexy R&B Slow Jam: “Dive” (See also: “Lessons For The Lover”, “Lemme See”)
Usher and his falsetto stay seductive while keeping it real on this ballad (which could certainly double as an Introspective Midtempo Tune, too).
EDM Offering: “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” (See also: “I Care For U”, “Scream”, “Euphoria”, “Numb”)
Is this banger (the LP’s opening track) really sampling the melody of the “whoa, oh oh”‘s in Billy Joel‘s “Uptown Girl”? We wouldn’t be surprised, since this is basically a grab bag of varying synths, generic club shout-outs, a pile of metaphors, stilted starts and stops, and dubstep wobbles — clear evidence that anything goes.
Retro Throwback: “Twisted” (See also: “Sins Of My Father”)
This Pharrell-produced ditty is a bucketload of fun, kicking off with some “Crazy”-esque drum beats, and isn’t afraid to bring the party down and go minimalist for a bit before bringing it back up. It’s a pretty great example of modern soul.
Introspective Midtempo Tune: “Show Me” (See also: “Climax”, “What Happened To U”, “Looking For Myself”)
Produced by Danja, this is the optimistic tune you’ll be jamming to all summer as you drive in your car, arms waving through the warm breeze out the window. Not all introspection has to be depressing.
Usher’s Looking 4 Myself drops June 12. Will you be picking it up?