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Review: Usher's Raymond vs. Raymond

By Nyambura Mbugua
On April 23, 2010

  • Caddoo (top right) and the author (bottom left) with American Studies students at the 2010 Yale Conference.

Look who is back on his music game returning as the known Prince of R&B. Atlanta-based R&B singer Usher Raymond has been on the music charts for more than 10 years running. He's had five albums including Confessions, Here I stand and 23 smash hit singles like "Yeah," and "Love in this club." After taking a long term break from the spotlight, divorcing wife Tameka Foster, and fathering his son, Usher is back with his newest album Raymond vs. Raymond. Many would doubt that huge star such as Usher would successfully come back with an album like Raymond vs. Raymond but he makes it clear that he can comeback. Has he done it with this album?

The album begins with the track called "Monstar," a hard pumping beat that conveys who people think he is and who he truly is. He quotes: "There are three sides to every story, there is one side, the other and the truth….You are not who we say you are." Usher's sultry R&B flow is heard throughout the album in different perspectives. Many claim the reason for songs "Papers" and "Guilty" are inspired by his public separation with his wife.

Many fans might have skipped out on the Here I stand album but with this 15-track album the singles like "Daddy's Home," "OMG" featuring Will.I.Am., and the newest single "Lil Freak," featuring female rap star Nicki Minaj represent the fun yet sensual, club party songs off the album. Other tracks on Raymond vs. Raymond that used Usher's sultry elements are "There goes my baby" and "Mars vs. Venus" which are not unusual to the classic Usher sound that we are used to. Both tracks showcased the sensitive yet seductive flow of Usher that is just as strong as the uptempo songs.

Overall if you're a fan of Usher, Raymond vs. Raymond is a good album to listen to. The album consists of types of music that Usher has been known for but also gives you a twist of the new Usher, by adding elements such as the use of auto tune and various featured artists. As a comeback album, Usher does make a statement and as of now he is off to a good restart. So far so good and fans should anticipate hearing more from him.

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