‘Looking 4 Myself’ Usher
In the previous decade, Usher, along with Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, was part of an elite group of pop acts who released back-to-back albums that were epic and masterful.
He kicked off the new millennium with 8701, an album full of R&B gems that became enduring staples. Though it’s nearly impossible to follow an album like that with something even better, he did with Confessions: The 2004 blockbuster was his superstar-making album and still ranks as one of the top 10 best-selling discs ever.
These days, Usher still racks up hit singles, but he hasn’t produced an album as brilliant since.
And he still hasn’t. But the entertaining Looking 4 Myself is his best attempt at making magical music following Here I Stand and Raymond v. Raymond, lackluster albums saved by a few sterling songs.
Usher’s 14-track set is a multigenre affair: There are midtempo grooves like Show Me, as well as bedroom R&B (Dive), rhythmic hip-hop (Lemme See), upbeat pop (Twist) and electro-dance numbers (Scream, Numb, Euphoria).
But the be-all-things-to-all-people approach doesn’t always work. Still, overall, Looking is a hit: The title track is amazing.