What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that RAYMOND V RAYMOND represents more of the same from R&B star Usher: some provocative lyrics that make undeniable allusions to sex, yet aren't nearly as graphic as songs by the singer's peers. They should also note that some tracks like "Papers" deal with mature topics like divorce, and others, including "Foolin' Around," talk about Usher's problems with cheating. Overall, the singer has released another record that's OK for older teens..
What's the story?
Smooth R&B crooner Usher has covered a lot of ground since his last album -- marriage, two kids, and a contentious divorce. He chronicles his personal ups and downs in Raymond V Raymond, a CD filled with 14 songs that follow the classic Usher formula: plenty of unmistakable allusions to sex that, while clear, aren't delivered with graphic language or extremely explicit descriptions of sexual scenarios. For example,Usher bleeps out the few actual swear words he includes in his songs and uses tamer lines like "I'll get you hot, I know you oh so well." The end result is another recordthat'sOK for older teens but off-limits to young kids.
Is it any good?
With Raymond v Raymond, Usher delivers a super-tight record that makes you want to hit "repeat" over and over. The singer gets help from other big-name artists like Ludacris, will.i.am, Nicki Minaj, and T.I., which lends a wide range of creativity to the R&B beats. He even weaves in an excellent sample of classic Stevie Wonder. An excellent album overall, but not for younger kids.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the many life changes Usher has gone through -- a marriage, two children, and divorce -- since his last album. How have these things affected his music?
How might Usher's music have been different had he not gone through these hard times?