Usher Returns to Form With a Funky Old School Track

Slate's Culture Blog
May 5 2014 10:42 AM

Usher Returns to Form With a Funky Old School Track

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Usher

Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation

For some time now, Usher has been dipping more and more into electronic dance music and moving away from the traditional R&B with which he kicked off his career 20 years ago. He’s remained successful: The Diplo-produced slow burn “Climax,” the Will.i.am-assisted dance track “OMG,” and the Europop-infused “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” were all legitimate hits.

But now Usher is going back to his roots: His new single, “Good Kisser,” is a mid-tempo, ’70s-style track with a heavy, funky bass line, a handclap break, and even some nicely employed cowbell (seriously). Marvin Gaye will come quickly to mind, but Usher’s distinctive voice and particular style keep the song from feeling like a pale imitation. Judging from this track, Usher’s next album, set for release later this year, will be one to look out for.

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Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.