Forget everything you ever knew about Usher. Forget his club anthems, forget his over-use of tragic sunglasses and leather jackets, and forget lyrics like ‘DJ got us falling in love again’ and ‘in the club with ma homies’. Don’t get me wrong, Yeah is a tune, but, like a lot of his old work, it doesn’t lead us to believe that he is an especially gifted vocalist. Well, he has fooled us all because Usher has, in fact, the most wondrous voice of all the land. It sounds like it has been fine-tuned by angels from the heavens above.
I will keep this short and sweet as I don’t want to bore you with a 1000-word essay on the ins and outs of Usher’s voice, but you would be stupid not to watch his recent Live Lounge performance for Radio 1. I normally would have over-looked anything to do with Usher, but the presenters on the radio would not stop banging on about how incredible he was, so I gave in to the hype and checked it out. His performance of his newest single, Crash, was beautiful. I would compare his voice with the gods of falsetto and soul, Frank Ocean and Bon Iver, and the single itself is surprisingly cool and collected. And for once it’s not about da club. His cover of The Chainsmoker’s Don’t Let Me Down wasn’t as fantastic, but it was a different take on the song which paid off, more or less. Nonetheless, in both songs, he was sounding sexy AF, and his session in the Live Lounge left me in a pleasant mood to say the least.
Usher, you have gained the cowbell stamp of approval.
This week’s homework’s kids; watch and listen to it. And then listen to it again. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Happy weekend y’all, in the words of vintage Usher, go and get ‘sexy, pop, popping, dropping, dropping low’.