Review: Usher, ‘Raymond v Raymond’

Review: Usher, ‘Raymond v Raymond’: Aidin Vaziri | Usher Raymond’s last album, 2008’s platinum-plus “Here I Stand,” found the then-newlywed singer singing earnestly of marital bliss. Well, that didn’t last long. After some well-publicized domestic turbulence, the sense of encroaching maturity has all but lifted with the arrival of his latest, “Raymond v Raymond.” On the new disc, the 31-year-old Texas native seems intent on making up for lost time. “OMG” finds him back on the dance floor scoping out the action with the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am as his funky wingman: “Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow!/ Honey got some boobies like wow, oh, wow!” And it’s doubtful that “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home)” is about his experiences as a young father, as sultry R&B beats accompany a troupe of breathless backup singers cooing, “Hey, hey, daddy.” Meanwhile, “So Many Girls” finds him standing on the bar at last call wailing about his latest predicament, “I can’t decide which one I’ll be taking home.” Expensively produced, terrifically brash and ridiculous on almost every level, it’s hard to imagine a more effective way to sort out his love life.

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