While we work out our feelings about Usher’s newly released album, Hard II Love, there is one song that jumped out at us as the likely best of the bunch.
Sitting firmly at track number twelve is the ethereal and jazzy Tell Me, a song that feels like it might have been written by and for Jhené Aiko (Usher actually wrote the entirety of the song himself). Starting off with the singer telling the woman he love that he wants to make love to her before going on to describe the actual emotions that go through his head from beginning to end and the connection they share, this is a song for the grown and sexy who understand how physical intimacy is about more than just the act itself. The lyrics, while somewhat repetitive, are an excellent mix of the poetic and the concrete. They manage to convey mood over a period of time without spelling it in crass or overused phrasing.
The vocals are a lovely mix of Usher’s fronting falsetto and baritone harmonies that mesh well with the smooth and sensuous production. The two play off each other well as the singer allows for himself to be nearly swallowed up by the swells in the melody by still rides above them easily. There is a slight beat change towards the climax, which is probably supposed to signify just that, but it’s so subtle that you may not even notice it the first time you hear it. The track builds gradually and ebbs away gently, building on the theme that the lyrics set.
While it runs at eight and a half minutes, the time goes by very quickly and you will be hitting the rewind to experience it again.
Usher’s Hard II Love is out today through all digital outlets and music retailers.