Whereas earlier in his career R&B artist Usher aimed for commercial success and radio play with his last few albums the man has been stretching his legs artistically. Experimentation is the name of Usher’s game. Hard II Love is no different. For long time fans – don’t be frightened off by this because he does remember and honour you with leaving in enough of what made you love him the first place. Falsetto everywhere and some romantic songs to get the ladies worked up. As for the differences, right off the top this is a dark body of work. That cannot be hidden even when he surrounds it with upbeat music. In the middle of it all is an eight minute track called “Tell Me”. If that is not an attempt to push the boundaries of R&B then I don’t know what is. At the same time it is that prototypical baby making R&B music that we’ve come to expect from the genre. Finally, lyrically this is more raw and exposed than he has ever been. It makes sense that the language is also oftentimes coarse and foul. Usually you cannot have one without the other.