Review Roundup: Usher – ‘Raymond v. Raymond’

Raymond v. Raymond

Usher pleads his case on his sixth album Raymond v. Raymond, in stores today. After a two-year absence, what was the verdict with critics? Find out below.

Entertainment Weekly: Usher’s sixth album has been billed as his most intimate yet, but aside from the last-straw slow jam “Papers,” which explictly details the dissolution of his marriage, and heartfelt cheater’s mea culpa “Foolin’ Around,” Raymond v. Raymond doesn’t offer much real revelation. Its main aim is more standard issue: Sleek, grown-and-sexy R&B tuned to seduction, not divorce court. B-

USA Today: Usher used to be good at crooning slyly libidinous slow jams and dance-tastic hits, like crunk treat “Yeah!” But the bulk of these 14 tracks traffic in lusty yet lackluster R&B jams lazily strewn with ooohs, grunts and generic club beats. 2.5 out of 4

New York Daily News: Of course, comparisons to a blockbuster CD like Confessions always prove a losing game for the artist. But at least Raymond v. Raymond has more verve than Here I Stand. It’s solidly listenable and Usher’s voice has never sounded more sinewy. In an age of Auto-Tune, it’s nice to hear an R&B singer who doesn’t need it, even if market forces did entice him to indulge it in that cynical will.i.am song. 2.5 out of 5

The Washington Post: Usher manages to make some great music, especially when he appears to be getting his bearings back as a single man and heartthrob. “Pro Lover” is a crackling player’s anthem, “Guilty” without the guilt, and “Okay” is a fast-paced ride.

Chicago Tribune: “Foolin’ Around” delivers a straying husband’s mea culpa, only to see his marriage end in tears and “Papers.” It’s the kind of lacerating perspective that adulthood brings, but Usher’s too busy chasing his past to fully embrace it. 2.5 out of 4

Boston Herald: Aside from those confusing confessionals, the 31-year-old is back to the playboy ways he swore he’d left behind. Usher’s 180-degree turn from devoted husband to thrill-seeking player has made his tales decidedly less believable, but it hasn’t compromised the quality of his music. B+

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Hey Daddy (Daddy’s Home),” “Lil Freak,” “Guilty”

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17 Comments

  1. DRE

    this cd is great forget all the haters like these so called critics when do they truly ever like an album anyway! this is album is good out of 14 songs there is only 1 i dont like usher i give you much respect and much props for this album and stay on your game and continue to stay blessed. i can appreciate a true artist who can sing, perfom, and dance because thats a performer who loves his craft god bless.

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  2. davyd69

    yeah!! this album will be good and all the haters shut up and just dont buy the album at all why they needs to trash a true artist like usher .

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  3. GeeMan

    I can honestly say the general public is dying for another confessions which at this would be predictable at this point in Usher”s career because his trying to win back his main fan base I feel like recreating the same material can get boring very fast I am glad to see Usher giving the old and new even though something with Usher like most veteran artist seems to be off these days. I am just happy homie is still doing his thing. But overall the lastest album is very safe and doesn’t really do anything for me personally.

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  4. thedude

    nice album

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  5. mel

    what ppl don’t understand is that he will never have another cd like confessions..because when he made that the music industry was at a different point..producers were at a different point..writers were at a different point..nobody makes beats or write lyrics like that anymore..because times have changed..

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  6. Carl

    Oh dear. I think the album is better than the reviewsi it’s better than the last that’s for sure! You can’t replicate a past success it just doesn’t work like that with music.

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  7. NoHater

    Usher always delivers good music. there will never be a confessions 2 … Like Michael never did a Thriller 2

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  8. brice

    Bad reviews for someone like ushers :)

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  9. bladerunin

    Rap-up is time for you guys to stop posting from these so call critics, i’m guessing these are either some really old dudes and cunts that don’t know a thing about music

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  10. JD

    I saw a snippet of his GMA performance and it really wasnt all that. He barely danced and there wasnt even that many young people in the crowd.

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  11. R

    Although some of Ushers music may sound the same, that doesnt necessarily mean its bad. Thats his style and I’m down with it. Its always feel good music. IF IT WORKS DONT FIX IT. Still the king of R&B, and he’s always gonna have his core fanbase.

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  12. Terrell Johnson

    It’s so funny because Usher’s last album was indeed better than the latest one although I like majority of the singles that he’s released but it wasn’t like “Here I Stand”…Online newspaper columnists really don’t count because they don’t listen to his music like “we” do…

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  13. philly11

    I absolutely lovvvveeeee this album!!

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  14. Kyle

    I personally like “Here I Stand” better than this one. His last album showed his growth as a man, husband, and father. Now since his divorce I think he has regressed and turned to cheesy songs such as “I’m Guilty” and “So Many Girls.” He knows that women loved him when he was single, so I guess he has to please the ladies. But from an artistic point of view, I am disappointed.

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  15. kelley

    I am a big usher fan. I love the cd. Usher has a lot swag with his music. Hey Daddy and Mars v Venus and # 13 Okay, very hot songs.

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  16. Stunninglysexy007

    I dont knw abou Y’all.. I tink it’s High time We Kicked all dem Old fashioned, “nothin is ever Good”, Lowly witted & unappreciative Pple dat cals demselvs Critics Out of Rap-Up..

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  17. JOLANTHY "LANDY"

    Album is hot love it or hate it buts its totally hot

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