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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1391
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Usher: 'Scream'
      #1030563 - 26/01/13 02:05 PM
[Here's a critique I did for Mix Review, but we all decided in the end that it was a bit too lyric-biased for the mag, so I'm posting it as a 'forum extra' instead.]

I have a lot of time for Usher's brand of über-polished R&B, but few would argue that his sex-appeal has played a crucial role in launching him into the commercial stratosphere, which is why I'm so baffled by this latest single. Maybe I'm missing the point, but it always appeared to me that a well-rehearsed combination of puppy-eyed soulfulness, pearly-white cheekiness, and urban sophistication was his personal magic formula, an impression which has always seemed borne out by his music. Until now, that is.

Check out some of these lyrics: "Girl, tonight you're the prey, I'm the Hunter / Take you here, take you there, take you under / Imagine me whisperin' in your ear that I wanna take off all your clothes and put somethin' on yer... now relax and get on yer back... if yer wanna scream!" If you told me these were off an AC/DC record, I wouldn't bat an eyelid, but when it's in an R&B club production that's slicker than a jellied eel it just begins to become sleazy somehow. While sex undoubtedly sells, I can't help feeling that Usher is the last artist in the world who can afford to be plain grubby.

Let's hope it's a brief aberration, and that's he's not planning to release a foil-wrapped coffee-table book any time soon...

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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1391
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Usher: 'Scream' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1030564 - 26/01/13 02:05 PM
I reviewed this production from the Now 82 compilation, which gives the writers as Max Martin, Shellback, Savan Kotecha, and Usher Raymond IV. Max Martin and Shellback did the production.

For more critiques of commercial productions, browse The Mix Review Index.

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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Alibi Productions



Joined: 18/12/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Widnes, Cheshire (UK)
Re: Usher: 'Scream' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1030605 - 26/01/13 08:07 PM
If you look around in clubs when that track is played I think you'll be surprised. The girls absolutely love it, obviously that's partly as it's got a great dance floor beat and some catchy melodies but the highly suggestive lyrics defo don't seem to take anything away from it! In fact I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I think Usher will continue revisiting this type of 'x rated r'n'b' in the future - he's already had some success with a similar thing in 'Yeah' a song he had featuring Ludacris and Little John I think. Again very catchy dance floor fodder with anything but squeaky clean lyrics!!

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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1391
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Usher: 'Scream' new [Re: Alibi Productions]
      #1030760 - 28/01/13 07:23 AM
Quote davegorst:

If you look around in clubs when that track is played I think you'll be surprised. The girls absolutely love it, obviously that's partly as it's got a great dance floor beat and some catchy melodies but the highly suggestive lyrics defo don't seem to take anything away from it! In fact I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I think Usher will continue revisiting this type of 'x rated r'n'b' in the future - he's already had some success with a similar thing in 'Yeah' a song he had featuring Ludacris and Little John I think. Again very catchy dance floor fodder with anything but squeaky clean lyrics!!




Fair enough. I'm happy to stand corrected on this issue if you're right. Time will tell -- if you can trust nothing else, it's that Usher will always follow the money!

--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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Alibi Productions



Joined: 18/12/09
Posts: 58
Loc: Widnes, Cheshire (UK)
Re: Usher: 'Scream' new [Re: Mike Senior]
      #1030980 - 29/01/13 10:27 AM
Very true Mike! I think i'd be happy to croon sleazily if i was getting paid his fee ha!

--------------------
follow me on SoundCloud: AlibiProductions


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Mike Senior
SOS Mix Specialist


Joined: 08/08/03
Posts: 1391
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: Usher: 'Scream' new [Re: Alibi Productions]
      #1030992 - 29/01/13 11:43 AM
Quote davegorst:

Very true Mike! I think i'd be happy to croon sleazily if i was getting paid his fee ha!




Maybe if we all chipped in...



--------------------
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
A complete mixing method based around the techniques of the world's most famous producers.


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