Usher excels at making high energy dance tracks that are ready for the dance floor. However, he is also known to churn out a smooth rnb jam. While his last ballad was about heartbreak, his latest single, Dive, shows us the more affectionate side of Usher. With its smooth rnb beat, and Usher’s sensual vocal delivery, this song is definitely ready for the bedroom rather than the dancefloor.
Dive manages to accomplish what Climax failed to do; excite. The velvety soft beat is slow and sensual, the guitars are melodic, and the syth progression is both driving and dramatic without being over the top. The production really compliments Usher’s vocals, specifically his falsetto. Its been awhile since we’ve heard a song that utilizes Usher’s vocals quite this well. Usher proves that less is sometimes more. Usher reigns it in with a controlled vocal, and a falsetto that is delivered masterfully. I would have liked to have heard him belt a little more often, but he even manages to get a good one in there now and then.
Lyrically, this song is bit jarring, even for a man who told the ladies to “Get on your back if you want to scream” in his last single. Lets face it, with a title like Dive, we all knew that this song was going to tip toe into the bedroom. However, some of the lyrics are just off putting when sung with Usher’s smooth vocals. Lyrics like “Love makes you so wet, your legs, your thigh” just sound laughable…probably because Usher says them so seriously. Other lyrics like “It looks like the walls might precipitate” and “Its raining inside your bed” are just….weird? Usher, do you even know what the word “precipitate” means?
Love making is a common theme in rnb music, but Dive is a lyrical mess. Luckily, Usher’s vocal delivery is spot on, and the production is great as well. Overall, Dive is a pleasant listen, and is arguably Usher’s best ballad single since 2004’s Burn.
Final Score: 3/5