Album Review: Usher Revisits His Confessions By Admitting That He Is “Hard II Love”

By Eva Astreinidou

Spread The Word

Most R&B fans know what to expect from an established artist like Usher, whether that’s dance floor bangers or suave smooth-talking tunes. Good news is you get layers of both, and more, in his eighth studio release Hard II Love.

Much like the cracked sculpture on the cover, Usher’s album explores a lot of imperfection and is rather confessional in its lyrics. The music is reminiscent of the atmospheric sounds of Bryson Tiller or even The Weeknd (in his R&B prime). The mix of melodies, heavy bass, and smooth beats make it a very easy listen. The sounds of the album bear similarity to former songs like Climax and Confessions – and that’s no bad thing.

Some of the lyrics convey a cockiness typical of many R&B artists – as evidenced on No Limit. On the one hand, Usher explores his light-hearted, fun, and confident side, but at the same time his lyrics expose self-doubt and weakness in his ability to follow through with a trusting relationship. He divulges into the uncertainty of new relationships, as a sort of warning to those who get close to him. In the song Hard II Love, for example, he proclaims: “I know that I am hard to love, hard to trust.”

A lot of R&B music is about seduction and infatuation, so it’s no surprise that this translates into real life, as if these individuals are perpetually single. With a mixture of soft seductive tones (Tell Me), and high-pitched sentimental expressions (Crash), Usher’s voice sounds better than ever: a winning formula for a much-anticipated album.

Hard II Love is available to download on iTunes or to stream on Spotify



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