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Usher's latest release gets a failing grade

Fourteen years ago, Usher released the album Confessions, which for me is still his iconic work. Since then, all of Usher's releases have been either good Here I Stand or downright horrible Hard II Love. On October 11, Usher tweeted that he would be releasing a new album. Sending his fans into anticipation, hoping Usher would finally deliver an album worthy of his talents. Sadly Usher's latest EP simply titled A continues the downward spiral of Usher's once-promising career.

Produced entirely by Zaytoven, A finds Usher paying homage to Atlanta and its signature sound. However, the production and lyrics fail to cater to Usher's vocal ability. A opens with the Future assisted "Stay At Home," where sings lyrics such as "Turn up the juice, walk through water, bright berry booze, yeah." It doesn't get any better on the songs "Ata," "Gift Shop," or "Birthday," as the production sounds the same on every track, and the theme is strippers.

The album's only shining moment is "You Decide," which is the third track. "You Decide " showcases Usher's falsetto is clearly the best song on the album. If Usher wanted to cater to both his old fans and gain new ones, the production from Zaytoven on "You Decide" is the vibe he should have used. I will give Zaytoven credit for "You Decide." For me, the song shows that under the right circumstances, Zaytoven can produce a mature track, which can receive airplay on Urban Adult Contemporary stations.

"Say What U Want" is another song that I liked, highlighting Usher's vocal talent, but the song lost me with the ad-libs in the background and pointless outro. The biggest issue with the album was that instead of growing as an artist, Usher tries to appeal to a market that he does not need to chase. While this is the age of streaming and artists tend to do what sells, an album like this is inexcusable for Usher. If Usher wanted to experiment with Trap R&B, then why not reach out to producers who know you best.

Twenty-four years since his debut, Usher is slowly becoming a parody of himself. Instead of staying true to his forty years of age, Usher comes off as a joke with his latest release.

Final Grade D-

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