Raymond v Raymond
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.
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