I saw a WSJ interview where the interviewer commented that Usher’s voice seemed to have gotten bigger on his new album Looking for Myself. I finally listened to the whole thing, and I have to agree. E’rybody knows I love me some Usher. Not for the looks – though I admit it doesn’t hurt that my man has the biggest hands, is incredibly fit and has the cutiest eyeballs and teeth ever – or the dancing – though that ain’t nothing to sneeze at either – but for his talent. It is all about that voice.
On this album he seems to have unleashed his signature sound, and in the process has managed to find a newness, a modernity that offers the listener something sorely lacking in much of todays’ offerings: quality.
Usher has long been a source of extreme production value, even at his cheesiest goodness. But now his vibrato is unrestrained, relentless and so very sexy. The album itself is a bit of a departure from his usual R&B dominated sound. I got a distinctly vintage feel, an almost 80s sound on a few tracks, and there was definitely a dance vibe throughout.
The music seemed to whisper, I’m good. Get your mind out of the gutter ya’ll. I meant in a spiritual, emotional sense. Obviously I’m inferring a lot here, having never interviewed Usher or met him, but if I could read between the tracks I would guess that if he’s not ecstatically happy he is certainly quite content.
I’ve always thought it a shame that age has to come to some of us – myself for instance LOL – but especially to actors and singers and dancers whose artistry is intrinsically tied to their bodies. Usher’s been in the game for a minute, but I can’t discern any degradation of that beautiful sound at all – thank you, Lord for the vibrato!
My personal stand out cuts: I Care For You, Lessons for the Lover, Twisted, Sins of My Father, I.F.U., Can’t Stop Won’t Stop