Raymond v. Raymond: The Return of a Champ?
Usher goes round for round in his newest musical installment.
Using a sample of Al B. Sure's "Night and Day," Usher scores major points for showing his emotional attachment on "There Goes My Baby," which finds him in awe of the women he claims are his. His second single, "Hey Daddy, (Daddy's Home)," serves as his declaration that the old Usher is back.
Winner: "There Goes My Baby"
Round 3: Sensual Harmonies
"Mars vs. Venus" vs. "Making Love (Into the Night)"
A mini-battle within Raymond v. Raymond heats up on "Mars vs. Venus," and Usher refuses to be dominated. Usher sings about the battles men and women face in balancing love and sex. "Making Love (Into the Night)" samples Benny Mardones' 1989 "Into the Night." "You know I shut it down/got you above the ground/Yes, I can't be wasted/and if I let you on my spaceship..."
Winner: "Making Love (Into the Night)"
Round 4: Baby Making Music
"Okay" vs. "Pro Lover"
On "Pro Lover,'' Usher wastes no time being upfront about his intentions: "Loving me, baby, that's a no-no/ I'm better when I'm touch-and-go/ I'm trying to add your name/ To my hall of fame/ Not just a player, I'm a pro.'' In a similar fashion, Usher uses the bass-laden "Okay" to describe how anticipation can make a bedroom rendezvous stellar, even when rooted primarily in lust.
Winner: "Pro Lover"
Round 5: Boogie Down Beats
"More" vs. "She Don't Know"
Intended to be a dance-circuit-ready hit, the pop-ish "More" does its best attempt to become a crossover sensation like 2004's "Yeah." But it's the horn-heavy "She Don't Know," featuring Ludacris, which provides the bounce. Nodding your head is natural as Usher describes the challenge of getting close to a woman who knows how to play hard to get.
Winner: "She Don't Know"
Raymond vs. Raymond in stores and available for download today.
Shirea L. Carroll is an lifestyle/entertainment writer and event consultant. Follow her on Twitter.