Usher announced he was to drop a surprise album at midnight on his 40th birthday. Was I excited when I learned this news via Instagram? Nope. Simply because Usher’s last offering “Hard II Love,” did absolutely nothing for me, I couldn’t tell you one song off that last album that was memorable. At any rate, I listened to the snippets Mr. Raymond posted on Instagram from this new album and was underwhelmed, but you can’t judge an album off snippets alone so I waited until midnight when the album dropped on Apple Music.
According to the description, Usher wrote, recorded, and produced this album in 5 days with super-producer Zaytoven. The album has 8 tracks and features rappers Future and Günna. Apparently, everyone is following Koonye West’s formula of dropping 7-8 tracks albums. Nonetheless, I hit play and my ears were subjected to an artist that has not grown with his fanbase. The album sounds like a 40-year-old uncle trying to keep up with his younger nephews. Of the 8 tracks, the only song that is halfway decent is “Say What U Want” This is album is a complete disappointment and the fact that it was done in 5 days sticks out like a sore thumb. I am all for spontaneity if the end product is good, but this ain’t it Urrrsher!
I am honestly confused as to why Usher refuses to do true R&B, if anyone can do it, he is definitely the one to do it. That lane is wide open! Usher basically paved the way for Chris Brown, Trey Songz, August Alsina, and etc., but he continues to try to imitate them. He should be setting the trends for these young boys to follow because he is a GOTDAMN VETERAN in the game! Sure, they’ll play these songs on the radio, because radio is TRASH! But will we be reciting “Treat the Gucci store like a gift shop,” in ten years? Hell f*ck naw! For this to be 40th birthday surprise album I am utterly disappointed. This is not an album, it is more like a mixtape or a collection of songs that were leftover. Mr. Telephone Man, please get Jermaine Dupri on the line he shouldn’t be busy since all but two of the dates on the So So Def 25th Anniversary Tour have been canceled. Usher is desperate need of help and direction because this mixtape is not going to cut it!
Update: After listening to the mixtape a few more times, ” You Decide,” is decent. Usher really needs to stop trend chasing. First it was him following trying to do his version of EDM and now it’s Trap & B. The R&B lane is wide open and Usher is a big enough artist to bring his audience back to the fading genre. He would also remain to true to why we fell in love with him in the first place.
Whut, say you?