From The Vault is back this week with an R&B classic which certainly stood the test of time. Today’s pick is Usher‘s ‘Burn.’
The second piece of one of Pop’s most immaculate trifectas, ‘Burn’ followed monster hit ‘Yeah!’ and preceded #1 ‘Confessions (Part II).’ All three were lifted from the diamond-certified ‘Confessions’ LP, which was released in 2004.
Produced Usher’s right hand man Jermaine Dupri, the track reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 where it reigned for 8 non-consecutive weeks – replacing ‘Yeah!’.
The definition of a worldwide smash, the cut also peaked at #1 in the UK, reached the second place of the Australian tally, and climbed to #11 in Germany.
Jake Nava was the director selected to bring the fiery song to life and he opted for a sensuous yet dramatic visual. The clip showcases Usher and his love interest drifting apart before he drives away for a dance solo on the street.
Unfortunately Mr Raymond’s latest effort ‘Hard II Love’ found itself being exactly that commercially.
Sure it didn’t have a huge single akin to ‘Burn’ to propel it to the top of the charts, but one would think Usher’s name alone should be enough to do so.
It goes to show that “hit singles” are still a necessity in today’s “new rules” obsessed industry. Rather than trying to “out edgy” one another, we wish more artists would realize that made-for-radio (or Apple Music) doesn’t equate to inferior quality, superficial depth or lack of authenticity. Such songs, much like Usher’s ‘Confessions’ singles proved, serve as a powerful vehicle to drive to album success too.
Food for thought.