Usher's seventh studio album may be titled Looking 4 Myself, but judging from the sound of his latest effort, he's found what he's looking for. Although the musical landscape has drastically changed over the years, unlike most artists, Usher has consistently evolved with it. He takes some risks with this album, and let's face it: He's earned the right to do just that.
Usher has called his latest album's sound "revolutionary pop" and that's exactly what it is. Looking 4 Myself takes his fans on a musical journey that has the singer experimenting with different sounds and working with different producers, but at the same time sticking with what he does best — making infectious music that gets people on their feet and in the clubs.
Usher himself admits that this album is unlike anything he's done, and he recently told MTV News that he credits his life experiences as the real inspiration behind this new sound.
"It is an experience that was kind of based off of the places that I've gone and the music that I've listened to, the styles that I've been inspired by and also some of the emotions that I've been able to feel," Usher said. "You know, for me, every album should represent kind of an evolution. The last three years of my life have been extremely experimental in style, lifestyle, in music and in fun. I travel to different places, met and sat with different artists, made a lot of friends, and in doing that I created new music."
One can tell that Usher took his time with this album, meticulously picking out each beat and working with producers he's never worked with before. He teamed up with Diplo, who produced the bold, artistic lead single, "Climax," Swedish House Mafia and the late Amy Winehouse's producer, Salaam Remi. Mixing these new producers with veterans like will.i.am, Max Martin and Pharrell, Usher found himself with a sound that mixes retro, electro and R&B.
"I think when making this album, it was about what felt good. After I had an understanding of different styles, I began to find the music that I felt comfortable with, even though it was a little bit different," Usher said. "I would find the melody and the emotion in it, most of the time it's a beat, it's a beat on the guitar or the piano, and then the melody finds its way and then the words begin to find a way. A lot of them came from travel so I thought back to where I was, kind of took my mental diary out and began to take myself back to that experience to what I think the people were experiencing or what I felt in that moment."
Looking 4 Myself drops Tuesday, June 12.
Are you excited for Usher's album? Let us know in the comments.