It seems like singles from Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond couldn’t leak any faster if the album was being shipped by Amazon. “Little Freak,” the latest, is produced by Polow Da Don and features Lil Wayne protege and guest-du-jour Nicki Minaj. The song samples Stevie Wonder’s “Living For the City,” and comes off like a slow jam crossed with a James Bond theme. But it’s still a little more upbeat than Usher’s album cover. Listen to “Little Freak” after the jump:
While the production is a little scattered, it does sound like Usher really has been straining to create some “innovative, new sounding music,” as producer Rico Love suggested to That Grape Juice. Love, who oversaw six tracks on the album, described a bit about what we can look forward to on Raymond v. Raymond (besides a lot of shout-outs to the former Mrs. Raymond):
He’s not neglecting the classic ‘Usher’ sound. I feel like that’s what happened before. I wasn’t involved in the Here I Stand album. I thought it was a great record. I feel like now he’s just capturing what made Usher so great; those classic melodies that we’re tackling; just having him sing like he’s never sung before.
Usher goes in hard; he does vocal training still! After all these years, he still gets his vocal coach and gets better; he works out his voice still. I just feel like he’s got his mind right; he’s ready for war; he feels like his back is against the wall and that’s sometimes the best feeling; the feeling that makes the best records.
After listening to “Little Freak,” do you agree with Rico? Though it does sound like a slight shift for Usher, the repetitive track doesn’t exactly test his vocal range. And based on what we’ve heard from this long-delayed album thus far, we’re not entirely convinced Usher’s got enough sure-fire hits on Raymond to start off the 10s with a chance to become the next decade’s artist with most number ones.
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