This morning, we were enjoying our morning java buzz and chatting with our colleagues in the MTV Newsroom about the happenings in music and pop culture when the conversation turned to Usher’s new Diplo-produced jam “Climax.” The song is a slick, sexy electro-pop ballad that features perhaps Usher’s best (falsetto!) vocal performance in a long time. (Listen to it after the jump!)
The R&B superstar and his producer engaged in some fun and frank talk about the track on Twitter, with Diplo tweeting, “Seriously the best record I’ve been part of. Really proud of it. I’m pretty sure in 9 months there are gonna be a lot of new babies that this song is responsible for.” Usher’s response? “Yeah…I hope they don’t name the babies Usher too…I don’t need them problems…lol.”
That seems about right.
With the Newsroom buzzing about Usher’s latest hit, one of his earliest smashes, “My Way,” coincidentally started playing on MTV, bearing the hashtag “#classic.” It got us thinking: Why has Usher never released a greatest hits album? The smooth superstar has so many hits to his name it would almost have to be a double disc (for those who still buy CDs, that is) and it would most definitely be a smash.
Usher has sent a staggering nine tracks to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and logged six other top tens. They are among the most infectious and memorable of the last 18 years. Yes, Usher released his debut album 18 freakin’ years ago – though he really broke out three years later when he released My Way, which featured the singles “Nice and Slow,” “My Way” and “You Make Me Wanna.”
In many ways, he’s peerless right now. Quick, name another mainstream R&B artist with his career longevity and commercial success? We thought not … you can’t because there really aren’t any.
One of the big stories to develop out of Sunday night’s Grammys was that the post-win surge Adele’s 21 is likely to experience may propel that album to diamond sales. “Diamond” is the music industry term awarded to an album that has gone 10X platinum in the U.S. Can you guess what the last album to do that was? (It was Usher’s 2004 set Confessions.)
Like we said, we’re loving Usher’s new track “Climax” and it certainly has us excited for his new album, which should be out later this year. And sure, we could just sort all of our Usher songs we have on our iTunes into a nice convenient playlist. But the great thing about a nice, well-curated “best of” set from a major artist is that it has a way of becoming a seminal piece of their catalog – and something for casual fans who may not have as many Usher songs on their iTunes as we do to latch on to.
Think about it: seven of the top 30 albums ever are greatest hits sets and just about every superstar has released at least one and when they get it right, it can be a definitive record (think Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection or the Beatles’ 1).
Since Usher’s already working on a new studio set, maybe celebrating his 20th anniversary in the music biz in 2014 by putting all of his hits in one place might be a nice idea. We’re just putting it out there for the hunky R&B superstar to consider.