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by Usher
Raymond v Raymond by Usher
Released: Mar 2010
Label: Laface Records
It makes sense that Usher's post-divorce album addresses the emotional gamut one runs after such a traumatic experience. Usher zooms from morose to bitter to "Guilty" -- sometimes in one song, like the wrenchingly lovely, double-meaning-laden "There Goes My Baby." What we didn't expect is that Raymond would battle himself with such beauty. Even the "getting under someone else" booty jams are graceful: His ode to threesomes ("Lil Freak") becomes an arching pop symphony, thanks to Polow da Don's rather shocking sample of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" and Usher's passionate vocals.
Rachel Devitt
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