On Tuesday (June 12) Usher released his seventh studio album Looking For Myself. The album is projected to sell about 120-130k in it’s first week, which is significantly lower than it’s predecessor Raymond vs. Raymond which sold 329,000 in it’s first week.
Despite low sells Looking For Myself is a good album. Usher may be going through a lot personally and legally, and looking for himself in those aspects, but he seems pretty sure of himself and the direction he wants to take his music on this album. Despite concerns that the album would be too pop, Looking For Myself is a nice blend of R&B and those dance hits that pop radio loves so much.
Check out my track-by-track review below and share your thoughts!!!
Lyrical Content: 3/5
Overall Production: 3.5/5
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop – Looking For Myself begins with “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop,” a busy, Will.I.Am produced track that samples Billie Joel’s “Uptown Girl.” The song is similar to Will.I.Am and Usher’s “OMG,” with it’s repetitive chorus, but it’s not nearly as catchy and is full of oversexualized, corny lyrics (“You can call me big daddy, let me call you all the time”). 2.5/5
Scream – Usher delivers another dance track similar to “DJ Got Us Falling In Love,” with “Scream.” The Max Martin and Shellback produced track is another typical pop record about Usher making his lover “Scream,” but it’s understandably catchy. 3/5
Climax – Usher delivers strong vocals and haunting lyrics in “Climax.” He delivers the depressing chorus (“Going nowhere fast we’ve reached the climax) in falsetto, then returns to his lower register for the verses and bridge. The Diplo produced track was an instant favor for me, and I still appreciate it for being simplistically beautiful. 4/5
I Care For U – Danja produces two songs on Looking For Myself and this is the first of the two. The song shows Usher experimenting with dubstep and attempting to prove to his lover that his feelings are genuine. Ultimately it’s forgettable and disappointing. 2.5/5
Show Me – “Show Me” is the second Danja produced track on the album. The two deliver a feel-good dance track that manages to stand out from the others on the album. The synth-infused beat is strikingly simple, and blends perfectly with Usher’s vocals. The song feels so good that you won’t even mind the crowd chanting towards the end. 3/5
Lemme See ft. Rick Ross – Usher gives fans another seductive single with “Lemme See.” Usher calls a girl’s bluff in the sexy, Rick Ross assisted track, but the song ultimately falls short. For starters, Rick Ross’ verse features an unnecessary Trayvon Martin reference that makes me want to gag. Aside from that it’s not a BAD song, but I do enjoy their song “Touch’N You” more. 2.5/5
Twisted ft. Pharrell – “You got me Twisted,” Usher yells in “Twisted,” a fun retro track. The song, which was produced by Pharrell and features a verse from the NERD rapper, has become an instant fan favorite, but after a few listens I’m still not crazy about it. Pharrell did a great job with production, however, and it’s not a BAD song. 3/5
Dive – “It’s raining inside your bed,” Usher sings seductively on, “Dive,” a track that he co-wrote with Rico Love. Throughout the sultry ballad he successfully utilizes falsetto while comparing sex with his lover to going for a swim. It may be a little too sexy for some, though.
What Happened To U – “I got ahead, but something got left behind,” Usher sings before listing all the perks that fame has allotted him. The track samples Debarge’s “Stay With Me” (alo heard in Biggie’s “One More Chance)” and is surprisingly smooth. This song, with it’s laid-back beat and nostalgic lyrics, is very reminiscent of the Confessions era. 3/5
Looking For Myself ft. Luke Steele – The title track, “Looking For Myself,” falls short and reminds me of elevator music. Usher sings about finding himself after a breakup over the Luke Steel synth beat, but all I can think about is finding the nearest exit. 2.5/5
Numb – Usher delivers another dance hit with “Numb.” The song sounds similar to “Without You,” and I anticipate with some promotion it could be as big. It is just a typical dance track, though, and in 2012 that means it’s nothing special. 3/5
Lessons For The Lover – Usher slows it down and encourages a couple to “let that argument turn you on,” in “Lessons For The Lover.” From the lyrics, to Usher’s vocals and the Rico Love produced beat, this track oozes love and sex! 3/5
Sins Of My Father – Papa was a rolling stone and Usher pays for it in “Sins of My Father.” Usher sings of being put in a “hex” after falling for a maneater over the soulfully sinister track. 3/5
Euphoria – The last track, Swedish Mafia House produced “Euphoria,” is my favorite from the album. You know how we felt when Rihanna emerged from the swampy water in “Where Have You Been,” SLAYED us, then calmly went back underwater? That’s basically what happens in this song. The track begins calmly, builds into this huge, euphoric dance track, then ends just as calmly as it began. I’m well aware of the fact that a lot of people (myself included) are over all of the similar-sounding dance tracks that are filling the airwaves these days, but “Euphoria” manages to stand out from the rest. For four minutes and twenty one seconds you honestly forget just how sick you are of synth-infused dance records. 4/5