Likes: Climax, Show Me
Overall: Immature, weak lyrics, not worth the listen.
For the last 3 albums, Usher Raymond has had the same issue. Instead of sounding like an established 18-year artist who arguably influenced the career of Chris Brown, he comes off like a Brown contemporary who’s just arrived. Let’s talk about the music production 1st. Although there’s some appealing moments (ex. “Twisted,” “Looking for Myself”), most of the production is mundane and so contemporary that “Looking for Myself” will sound dated a short time from now. “Lemme See,” featuring Rick Ross, struck one of my pet peeves, as producer Jim Jonsin so obviously tweaked and recycled his Kelly Rowland hit “Motivation.”
The lyrical content is equally uninspiring, if not childish; it just seems like there was no thought or effort put into the material at all. Songs intended to be heartfelt or romantic have no genuine emotional affect. The most offensive and frustrating aspect of the songwriting is what I call immature “locker-room banter”: language and expression resembling that of egotistical and hormonal high-school athletes. With Usher’s cheap and tacky lyrical approach to sex on such songs as “Scream,”“Lemme See,” “Dive” & “Lessons for the Lover”, you can hardly tell that Raymond is a once married, 33-year-old man with two children. Go listen to Barry White or Marvin Gaye, get your ‘baby-maker’ game up and start over. “Lessons” is especially agitating, as it encourages staying in a bad relationship because the trouble can make for good sex: ‘just ‘cause he gives you pain, that don't mean he ain't the one…just let that argument turn you on.’ Forgettable songs and lack of sophistication and artistic growth make this album not worth listening to. Send out a search party, Usher is ‘looking for himself.’