The direction of Usher’s upcoming album, Hard II Love, got a little more ambiguous over the holiday weekend.  While songs like Crash, Rivals, and Champions suggest a slightly more adult and crossover styled project, singles Missin U and No Limit suggested something a little more ratchet and (for lack of a better term) fun.  And now…there’s Bump.

As far as the more radio-friendly tracks that the singer has released recently go, this one is the best.  Missin U and No Limit weren’t wholly terrible by any means, but they weren’t all that great either.  This song offer the best of Usher; solid vocals and production teamed with better than average lyricism.

The vocals are the highlight of this track.  Usher takes the scales masterfully as he gives both his sweet falsetto and his strong baritone in equal measure and makes the listener melt from the moment he starts singing.  The singer also provides his own rap verse for the track and, while not the greatest, he keeps a solid flow and sounds engaged.  The production has an interesting mix of styles that are all united by the backbeat that continues almost unchanged from one section to the next so that they join in the head.  The lyrics, depicting a relationship that has started out in the physical realm with no kinds of guarantees about its longevity, aren’t the deepest thing you’ll hear today but every line hangs together on the theme in a way that some of the lyrics in previous singles did not.

This will likely be the track that makes longtime Usher fans sit up a take notice but it will also appeal to a younger set through  the beat and subject matter.

Hard II Love is due out September 16.

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