Single: Usher – “Scream” (2012)

I’m sure people will fall over themselves to disagree with me, but I love this current trend of big R’n’B names chasing the dollars by putting out dance tracks. Perhaps Guetta might have worn out his welcome on many (not me), but he has given most of these big names at least one big hit. Usher is on this list, with Guetta collaboration “Without you” being a big hit last year.

But with his followup to slow-jam snoozer “Climax”, it was time to kick his 7th album campaign up a notch by teaming up with Swedish super-producer Max Martin and lesser-known but still formidable pop producer Shellback (also from Sweden). These two produced Usher’s last big smash “DJ got us falling in love” that I absolutely loved, and “Scream” doesn’t stray very far from this formula at all.

I decided it sounds like a mix of “DJ got us falling in love” and the slightly darker dance sound of Medina’s “You and I” (seriously check that out, it’s amazing). A full-on dance song with some unusual synthy effects, particularly that strange effect that forms the backbone of the production from the start to the end.

The video is oddly dull, is it supposed to have some sort of Michael Jackson tribute angle? Either way I feel like a more bombastic and expensive-looking video might have served the song better, but the you go.

The reason I like a lot of the R’n’B-turned-dance acts are because their distinctive and powerful voices get a chance to make a bit splash, and Usher’s amazing range certainly pays dividends, particularly in that eye-popping scale he sings as the middle-eight. I am going to dig around to see if he can do that live, because it’s really an impressive vocal to say the least. His Billboard Awards performance was really stunning, but his amazing moves came at the price of a full attack on the vocals.

For an artist like Usher that I  had never really been that keen on, this is a truly great piece of dance-pop crossover nonsense, and I hope it’s not the last we get from him.

I may never have een

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Filed under Music, Reviews, Songs

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