Sunday, July 1

Album Of Last Month

Usher 'Looking 4 Myself' (RCA)

Judging by the name of Usher's seventh studio album, the silky-smooth entertainer is still very much on a journey of self-discovery. Could it be the R&B/pop stud of before was not the man we thought we knew (this doesn't pardon The Guetta Incident), but part of a near-two-decade-long wandering all of which led to this? 'Looking 4 Myself' ('scuse the yoof-inspired numerical) is still as big and bold as you'd expect, as proven by the stomping opening tracks 'Can't Stop Won't Stop' and 'Scream'. Yet there's a rousing, shrewder route it jogs in which somehow makes it all the more earnest; see under the Diplo-produced 'Climax' and 'What Happened To U', both not your typical Usher anthems. He then bawls on the Luke Steele-featuring title track: "In order for me to find me, I had to find you." Love conquering all is a fitting theme to an album which is maybe a few tracks too long, but one setting Usher in an intriguing direction.

Best Track