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Raymond v Raymond (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

Two years in the making, Raymond v Raymond is the product of conflicted circumstances. The singer hoped he could reconstruct the formula of Confessions, the smash 2004 album that used his relationship troubles as source material for a series of platinum pop songs. Raymond v Raymond was a rockier process, with rockier results, but it still offers a lot of fascinating moments. “Monstar,” “OMG” and “So Many Girls” take a crack at the robotic club sounds currently in vogue, but Usher’s style is too limber and sweet to fit in this mold. He fares better on “Foolin’ Around,” “Guilty” and “Papers,” which showcase his agile, still-young vocals, and feel honest, both musically and lyrically. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis deliver “Mars vs. Venus” and “Pro Lover,” two songs that prove that when Usher is paired with a creative, tasteful production team, he can still pull off sexed-up, hypnotic R&B songs. Created by RedOne, the Swedish producer-songwriter who is responsible for most of Lady Gaga’s biggest hits, “More” shows that the future pop landscape might yet hold a place for a fraught prince like Usher.

Biography

Born: 14 October 1978 in Dallas, TX

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most successful pop-R&B artists of the late 20th century and the early 21st century, Usher debuted during the mid-'90s as a fresh-faced teenager. As part of the thriving LaFace label roster, he made an instant impact in R&B's post-new jack swing era. He successfully rode mainstream songwriting and production trends across three decades and peaked artistically and commercially during the mid-2000s, when his landmark fourth album, Confessions, outshone all of its competitors. It...
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Raymond v Raymond (Deluxe Edition), Usher
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