Track Review | Usher, ‘Rivals’
Usher returns with a fifth pre-release single from upcoming album ‘Hard II Love’ entitled “Rivals.” “Rivals” features ubiquitous rapper, Future.
Ah, another week, another new pre-release track from Usher. After four years between albums, Usher is set to return with Hard II Love on September 16. As of yet, he’s unveiled singles “Missin U,” “No Limit” featuring Young Thug, “Crash” and “Champions.” This week, he adds “Rivals” – assisted by Future – as the fifth pre-release single from Hard II Love. One thing is for sure – it can’t be said that Usher isn’t trying his damnedest to promote the album!
“Rivals” opens with Future’s typical indecipherable babble, aka drenched in autotune. Future’s mush-mouthed vocals contrast Usher’s ‘youthful,’ clear vocals. Usher delivers quick-paced, pop-rap-like vocals on the verse, continuing to showcase his “swag.” A key lyric appears during the first verse:
“A great ass, a better mind, what a combo”
Sure, it isn’t deep, but at least he’s honest, right? Actually, it’s deeper contextually. Usher is looking for the one. This becomes “clear as mud” on the hook:
“Without you, I feel uneven / make every day our love season / baby girl you’re my rider / that should be enough reason / call you baby that’s only your title / cause I don’t need no more rivals / I put that on the Bible…”
In addition to Usher’s pipes, “Rivals” has other attributes. A nice syncopated thudding beat anchors the track during the first verse. Naturally, there is a fuller sound during successive sections of the song. Besides the groove, the guitar- synth playing the ostinato easily gets stuck in the head.
All in all, “Rivals” is another enjoyable single by Usher; Future has a minimal role, so it’s not saturated in his autotune babble. His vocals sound terrific – clear, more youthful than his 38 years, and exceptional. Catchy and well-rounded, “Rivals” is respectable through and through.