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Producers: Ivan Barias, Carvin Haggins
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Love in This Club
Producer(s): Polow Da Don
Label: LaFace/Zomba
After four wildly successful studio albums with sales totaling 20 million, Usher took a couple years off to regroup. He returns with the promise of an evolved sound, evident enough in first single "Love in This Club," which opens with a dedication to the ladies while vowing to keep it hood. Slow ballad tempo and smooth vocals transition to an upbeat hip-hop twist, adding a choppy synthesizer to fulfill the club vibe. A short verse from guest Young Jeezy doesn't add a lot to the overall impact, but at least scores on the hood quotient. "Love" is a catchy tune with enough fuel to return Usher to the top of R&B. Already, it's proved its mettle with consumers: brand-new and already No. 1 at iTunes.—Sophia Baratta

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