"Walking with my head down/ Counting every step/ Hoping that the next one/ Brings me closer to the man I was." So confesses Usher on the reflective title track of Looking 4 Myself, out today.
Could it be that, on his seventh album in 18 years, Usher Raymond IV is suffering from an existential identity crisis?
Never fear, folks: The almighty star confidently displays various sides of himself, proving that he can be all things to all people with another R&B-pop blockbuster.
He's the Ibiza-ready club kid on electro thumpers like current single "Scream" and the Swedish House Mafia-produced "Euphoria" that build on the success of "OMG," "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" and "Without You" (with David Guetta).
He's also the silky-smooth loverman on ambient slow jams like the hit "Climax" and the P.M. Dawn-esque "Dive," showing, as he lays on his creamy falsetto, that he's a better singer than ever (despite occasionally toying with Auto-Tune).
Then he's the old-school soul man on the funky James Brown-ish "Twisted" and "Sins of My Father," which, produced by Amy Winehouse collaborator Salaam Remi, inspires Usher to look for the Marvin Gaye inside of him.