After having folks screaming ‘Yeah!’ a few years prior, 2010 saw Usher make the masses want to chant ‘OMG.’
The will.i.am-assisted bop is this week’s From The Vault pick.
Released at the height of the Euro-Dance era, the track served as the fourth single from ‘Raymond v. Raymond’ and is notable for teaming the singer with will hot off the success of the Black Eyed Peas – resulting in a stadium-sized smash.
The single was met with mixed reactions, with some criticizing the vocalist’s use of autotune and others commending his newfound electronic sound.
Despite the polarizing response, the song went on to become Usher’s ninth US #1 single and will’s first as a solo artist, as well as a huge global hit topping the charts in the UK and Australia.
Anthony Mandler directed the tune’s visual, which showcases Usher evolving across several edgy sets. At times Hitchcock-inspired, others 80’s influenced, it is above all a performance video where the entertainer shines in all his glory. will.i.am also features in the video.
It was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards in 2010.
Whether people were screaming ‘OMG’ out of admiration or disdain, this very track is a classic for the ages and was responsible for placing Usher back on top of the charts.
Mr Raymond’s legacy in music is something that will forever be undeniable. Still, we feel he could have been an even bigger force in the contemporary climate had he and his team decided to not totally abandon danceable Pop (amidst complaints from his core R&B fans).
Make no mistake, Usher has always been R&B fundamentally. Even when some argued otherwise. But, in the seeming excitement folk had to charge him with “ditching” the genre, we feel there isn’t enough appreciation of his ability to adapt to the prevailing sound and climate of the time. Nor is there enough recognition of the fact that his flirtation with Pop delivered strong, qualitative music that he’ll be performing for the rest of his career. Not just ‘OMG’s and ‘Scream’s, but lesser known cuts like ‘Euphoria’ too.
With a Vegas residency in the works as well as new material on the horizon, maybe there’s still time to find balance once more.
In any case, in the here and now, Usher we salute you.