Usher Stays Shining with “Looking 4 Myself”

Usher has a great track record when it comes to being perceptive of what’s going on musically…

Usher

Looking 4 Myself

Producers: Diplo, Danja, 40, & Others.

Usher has a great track record when it comes to being perceptive of what’s going on musically, absorbing his surroundings and outputting the results of that forward-thinking formula while retaining the same “Usher” vibe that you’ve been familiar with over the years. With his seventh studio album, Looking 4 Myself is that introspective and diverse project where Usher maintains and furthers his relevance. Looking 4 Myself is an album that showcases a variety of topics such as lust, love, heartbreak, and how the singer deals with all of those things through his own eyes. While few artists can pull off genre crossovers, even less artists include that into their regular package and run with it successfully. To help achieve this, Usher recruits an interesting set of producers ranging from DJ/producer Diplo and Drake’s right-hand man Noah “40″ Shebib to international acts like Swedish house producers Swedish House Mafia and Max Martin. He also keeps the list of features slim with appearances from Rick Ross, Pharrell and Luke Steel (of Empire Of The Sun).

L4M‘s feel teeters between the upbeat Euro-style pop and mainstream R&B. As the album begins, the will.i.am-produced “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” is a product of that fusion of the differing sounds. A few tracks in, we come to “I Care for U”. Credit is due to both Danja and Usher for creating this great R&B track with a heavy dubstep presence that blurs the line between the genres well enough to possibly fool a one-dimensional fan into bobbing his or her head to the beat. Even further into Looking 4 Myself, listeners will find a track called “What Happened To U”. Produced by Noah “40″ Shebib, this track isn’t half bad to be honest. The only thing is it could have easily been Drake’s song, but Usher rides the beat like it works for him, and it does.

As many positive things as one can say about this album, there are a few missteps here and there, like ”Twisted” featuring Pharrell. Usher stated that the Neptunes-produced song had a ”nostalgic” quality to it. While the direction of “Twisted” isn’t tough to understand, some songs can simply be labeled as a “hit or miss” and this one is a miss. The album could have also done without ”Show Me”. It’s pretty much that unnecessary club track because it doesn’t feel like the best fit for Usher.

All in all, Looking 4 Myself is a musically diverse offering on Usher’s part and other artists can apply that to their own work in a way that suits them. Usher has planted his foot in the music industry where he is one of the few artists whom almost whatever he does, it’ll work, he knows the strategy.

Additionally, if you’re tolerant towards Usher’s openness to other influences, you should be able to pick a lot of favorites out from this album. Usher’s efforts on this one are further proof that he can maintain his longevity in the game and keep his name bubbling among today’s hot acts.

– Phalary Long (@PyrexPeas)

The SourceUsher Stays Shining with “Looking 4 Myself”

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