Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Slow Jam Saturday: Usher, Naked

R&B sensation Usher is on a roll, having had a successful Super bowl halftime show, a sold-out tour, and just released his ninth album. While the album has received a decent response overall, some of Usher’s longtime fans were hoping for more contemporary R&B in the style of the songs he previewed on Instagram before the album’s release date.

Mr. Raymond heard his fans loud and clear and recently released a deluxe edition of “Coming Home” with the bonus songs “Naked” and “Believe.” The former song is this week’s pick for Slow Jam Saturday. The ballad arrives from the pen of Ryan Toby, Big Yount, USHER, Patrick Hayes & Michael Coleman. At the same time, Hayes also produces the track with Kosine & Philip Cornish.

“Naked” is a song that explores Usher’s struggles with intimacy, romantic relationships, and dealing with his vulnerabilities. The lyrics tell a story about self-awareness, inner conflicts, and the search for authentic connections amid fame and external pressures. Usher’s mastery of the lyrics showcases his ability to reflect on his past experiences in relationships and how he sought validation through physical intimacy to boost his self-esteem. Usher reveals his struggles with unhealthy patterns of behavior and their consequences. His lyrics suggest a recurring issue and a desire for change. He acknowledges his potential sexual addiction and expresses a longing for emotional vulnerability with another person. The term “nakedness” in the song represents shedding false facades and exposing one’s true self, confronting hidden truths without deception.

Moreover, Usher underscores transparency when stripped down during post-chorus segments, indicating a willingness to combat inherent struggles by aiming at personal evolution within relational bounds by directing awareness upon existing realities. The bridge element accentuates having supportive companionship as pivotal in erratic life phases, acting instrumental restorative buoys amidst arduous times. This further elucidates the singer’s understanding, acknowledging occasional psychological warfare while appreciating partner support guiding him to confront hardships, making navigation more bearable.

“Naked” successfully offers a personal glimpse into Usher’s struggle with inner conflicts and bad habits while showcasing his growth and progress toward self-discovery and development. As a fan, I appreciate Usher’s ability to venture into the realm of mature R&B, away from the likes of Chris Brown and towards the style of Charlie Wilson. Songs like this testify to his versatility and growth as an artist.

Final Grade: B+
“Naked” from the deluxe edition of “Coming Home” is available on all streaming platforms.

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