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After the release of what was arguably the finest 'Urban' offering of the noughties in the diamond selling album Confessions, Usher experienced a saddening decline. Akin to a post-Mourinho Chelsea FC, this once titanic figure slowly faded into irrelevance as new entrants to the RnB league emerged to steal his title. A clear expression of this decline can be found in his Euro-pop (or better yet Euro-trash?) inspired EP Versus. That offering – littered with David Guetta-esque rhythms and ad libs from Pitbull – suggested that the man responsible for 'Seduction', 'U Remind Me' and 'Can U Handle It' was all too ready to languish on the playlists at Pacha. Admittedly, his last album Raymond v Raymond saw Usher briefly recapture some form. However, as discussed here, he couldn’t really relocate the qualities that enabled the shifting of over 10 million copies of a single album.
Well until very recently. Climax, the first single from his untitled 7th studio album, appears to be vintage Usher. Climax is a refreshingly under-produced slow jam when compared to the loutish tracks on the aforementioned Versus. Gone are those coarse synthetic beats and in comes a retiring melody that does well to accentuate Usher's stunning vocal range. This single is clearly great for both mass consumption and as reference material for aspiring vocalists. As for the lyrical content, it goes without saying that any RnB song entitled Climax may well serve a variety of purposes. Props for this go to Ariel Rechtshaid, a song writer who makes an interesting change from Usher's team of established hit-makers including Jermaine Dupri, Robin Thicke, The-Dream and Ne-Yo.
Usher therefore seems to have mixed in some new with the old on Climax, and produced something to leave his lifelong fans frothing at the mouth …