Raymond V. Raymond

Raymond V. Raymond

Today, Usher Raymond released his latest album, which directly follows the most grown up album of his career Here I Stand. That album showed his progression from a fly playboy to a grown ass man. He sang about his marriage, the birth of his child, and moving away from momma and towards your wife.

On Raymond V. Raymond, Usher goes back to his playboy ways. If you liked his progression to a more mature Usher, I’m not sure you’re going to like the step back he takes. While, you could say that Here I Stand didn’t have that one crazy big hit that Usher is used to having, an artist needs to grow, and while the album wasn’t super fantastic, it definitely showed growth. I think that’s why Raymond V. Raymond is disappointing. He’s basically telling us that all the growth was for naught.

To me, this album should’ve been about the heartache he’s currently going through because of the divorce from his wife. Wait, he’s a star. He doesn’t go through the regular heartbreak that we all go through I guess.

When he gives us radio garbage like OMG and Lil’ Freak, it really makes me wonder if he’s worried about where the next hit is coming from or if he really feels he’s a star. I guess, in a sense, you can never be too comfortable with your status in this fickle pop music world. But this is Usher, not Justin Bieber.

You know he still has it on songs like There Goes My Baby, which you simply want to sing to the love of your life, and Hey Daddy, which has an infectious, yet awkward chorus for guys to sing. But those moments are too few and far between.

The dude basically calls himself Usher Woods on songs like Foolin’ Around, which you kind of want to enjoy simply for his honesty, but at the same time, it’s just such an awkward thing to respect. Usher may feel like the bigger man for being honest, but how big can you be when your morals are questionable and you admit it?

On Papers he celebrates divorce. Really. And not since Kanye West asked people to chant, “We want pre-nup!” have you heard something as silly as Usher asking the fellas and ladies to say, “I’m ready,” if they’re sick and tired and want to sign some papers.

On Guilty he sings about the fact that he’s guilty for having too much fun and you might as well take him to jail. Maybe the most ironic thing about this song is that while he’s asking to be taken to jail, T.I. pops up and lays down some bars. I guess Lil’ Wayne was busy.

I’m not sure exactly what he was trying to do with this album. He’s stated that it’s called Raymond V. Raymond because there are two different sides to him, but the only side he really showed was someone who is begging for a hit rather than someone who knows how to deliver one.