Raymond v. Raymond

Studio Album by released in 2010
Raymond v. Raymond's tracklist:
Monstar
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Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)
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There Goes My Baby
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Lil' Freak (feat. Nicki Minaj)
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She Don't Know (feat. Ludacris)
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OMG (feat. will.i.am)
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Mars vs. Venus
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Pro Lover
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Foolin' Around
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Papers
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So Many Girls
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Guilty (feat. T.I.)
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Okay
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Making Love (Into the Night)
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Raymond v. Raymond review

Usher Versus Usher

Usher Raymond, or simply Usher, has been delaying the release date for his sixth long player, Raymond V Raymond, for a year. The famous singer entered a period of troubles and this had its impact on his professional musical career. The divorce Usher went through made him take a look deep inside himself. This soul-searching, as a matter of fact, turned the basis for the R&B star’s new effort. This is even mirrored by the title: Raymond number one does not get along with Raymond number two. The contrast highlighted by the name of the long player, is observed in the singer’s private life, professional activities and creative growth. The glorious times of the mega popular Confessions gave up their place to the period of uncertainty. The singer is not sure yet what to do next on the musical stage. He may remain the second Michael Jackson forever or leave the borders of the genre and try something new. Mostly because of this, Raymond V Raymond is characterized by some stylistic disharmony of its tracks. By all manner of means, Usher preserved his charisma and is still enjoying his singing talent in full, which leaves no doubt about the quality of the fresh album’s material.

Seeking new sound, preserving same quality

To listen to Raymond V Raymond, it is strongly recommended to forget about Confessions, and My Way, Usher’s most valuable efforts ever. Otherwise, comparing this album against those two may considerably spoil the whole impression produced by this pretty good effort. Of all fourteen songs featured by the last-to-date album from Usher, it is not that difficult to single out truly remarkable diamonds. Alas, the first track, Monstar, is not one of them. In the meantime, we all know that album openers are burdened with a high mission of tuning the listener the right way for the act of listening. The best pieces here are emotional ballad There Goes My Baby, energetic Lil Freak, provocative Mars Vs Venus, and the last two songs, Okay, and Making Love (Into The Night). Perfectly aware of what went better and what went worse, Usher did a nice job alternating the former with the latter. That is why Raymond V Raymond is interesting to listen up to the very end that, by the way, is reached only within almost an hour. The great flaw with this work is that it lacks some general atmosphere or emotional unity. Again, this could be the result of the singer’s uncertainty about what he wanted to hear from himself. The good thing is that everything he sang is a great enjoyable performance. After all, talents die hard.

A step back for two steps forward?

If you recollect the fact that Usher has been on the big stage for quite a while and huge fame crashed on him as early as in the mid nineties, you may find it very possible that the man’s best years are behind. Raymond V Raymond is not a disastrous attempt at all. Yet we know what music from Usher can be like and what albums he can make. Raymond V Raymond could have been recorded some twenty years ago, in the times when the singer was making his first steps in his professional career of a musician. And the first reason for this sensation is that the singer was not sure about the shape of this album. Secondly, having tried to sing about something serious, he soon went down to simplistic themes you can rather expect from youngsters. Primitiveness, sometimes straightforwardness, of the lyrics became one more considerable drawback of this work. Hopefully, the artist will soon get over with his hardships and deliver a more confident and convincing record.