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February 23, 2013 - 6:12pm

Usher lets intensity 'Go Missin''



For the second year in a row, Usher and Diplo released a collaboration on Valentine’s Day. Though it lacks the emotional vulnerability and nuance of its electrifying predecessor “Climax,” the new “Go Missin’” is without a doubt the most vocally intricate number currently playing on pop radio.

After a few too many club-ready, clap track-laden appeals to Top-40 conformity on Looking 4 Myself (by no means a bad album, but “Climax” is the very clear, ahem, climax, and little else comes even close to its level of originality), on "Go Missin'", Usher reminds us all he can sing. His lilting vocals entice, backed by perfectly placed drum machines and bouncing synths. Usher’s peculiar harmonies make the track tonally intriguing and a truly smooth listen. The intonations pulsate, creating an eerie sound that sways throughout.

But no, listening to “Go Missin’” for the first time won’t at all feel like the first time you heard “Climax” — mainly because that raw, intense honesty isn’t anywhere to be found. In fact, for the entirety of the song, Usher is just trying to get you to cheat on your man with him. Sexy — am I right, ladies?

Usher’s oscillating falsetto and the Diplo-helmed beat seduce in style, but with cornball, sleazy lyrics, it just feels like “Missin’” has something missing.