New Music: Usher – Need U (Editor Pick)

YKIGS October 20, 2016 1

Usher Hard II Love

released his latest album “Hard II Love” last month to mixed reviews, including ours. Many r&b fans were yearning for the Usher of old, the “Confessions” era Usher that gave us countless timeless hits. Jermaine Dupri even recently told us that Usher should put out another similar sounding album.

However, when the album did arrive, the majority of the project mimicked the trendy sounds you hear on radio today. “No Limit” even became a number one single on Urban Radio. Despite the sprinkling in of some traditional sounding r&b, this was not the Usher of old.

Perhaps there was no stronger indication of the struggle Usher was facing to balance keeping with tradition vs commercial viability than the opening track on “Hard II Love” called “Need U”. The song is infectious in that the chorus and bridge take us back to the classic melodic Usher of years passed, yet the verses go in a trendy direction of rap singing.

We’re a month past the release of “Hard II Love” and commercially it was the legend’s least successful album. Where he goes from here is anybody’s guess, however we still cling to subtle memories of the magic he is capable of like “Need U”.

One Comment

  1. Coolness October 21, 2016 at 3:56 am - Reply

    I love this song. He said it was actually the most challenging to record because it’s so bare. So, he had to rely on making his voice and vocal arrangements to fill up those empty spaces. It has a strong Michael Jackson feel to it – especially on the chorus and bridge. Look, y’all need to get over this issue with him rap-singing. In that very Jermaine Dupri interview you cited, he noted that Usher had been doing it for years before it became the norm in R&B. What do you think he was doing on some parts of Burn and most especially on Confessions Part II? I think it’s become the norm to complain about Usher just for the sake of it.

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