In 2004, Usher released Confessions, a confessional on love and relationships. That same theme is revisited on his sixth album release, Raymond v Raymond.
Beginning the foray with “Monstar,” where Usher describes his relationship with his ex over a Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis beat, Usher begins his story with fourteen tracks following. The energy of “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home),” is similar to that of “Yeah,” in that it sticks out as a jam that is one of Raymond v Raymond ‘s highpoints. “Lil’ Freak,” is both cool, club worthy and Nicki Minaj makes the cut seductive. It is one of those songs that may have to be repeated to appreciate its value.
The ballad, “Mars vs. Venus,” comes onto the album midway. It brings in flawless production and takes Usher to vocal heights that the majority of Usher ballads exhibit; while the first album single, “Papers,” keeps with the principle motif of the entire project allowing Usher to vent his frustration over this relationship.
“Guilty” comes off as a trial case where Usher tells his side of the story, with T.I. delivering a memorable verse over Ester Dean production. Another masterpiece on the project is “Okay,” which alone makes the album worthy of a listen. The Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis vibe is extremely slick and crazy. “More,” is a dance floor piece that is an epic closer to a superb album with the chorus “if you really want more, then scream it out louder.”
Raymond v Raymond was initially delayed in order for Usher to perfect it and get fans ready for its release. The album is no Confessions, but shows forth a different side of Usher, while keeping with his usual unique vocal style.
Parlé Album Pick
Usher – Okay
Raymond v Raymond receives a PARLÉ
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