Even though it has only been five months since the release of "Raymond V. Raymond," Usher has done the right thing by not resting on hits like "OMG," "Lil Freak" and "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home")." Singing "I'll be knocking till you let me in" on the deluxe edition of "Raymond V Raymond," also titled "Versus" as a separate disc ("Stranger"), Usher comes hard with a nine new songs filled with at least seven previously unreleased songs and one of his strongest singles to date ("There Goes My Baby").
Seemingly obsessed with Hot & Cold throughout the effort, as he spends much time talking about keeping his love interest warm on a cold and lonely night ("When you're cold, I want to be the one that keeps you warm; I'm so cold that I need a hot tottie"), Usher kicks off the second disc (the first disc in the deluxe edition matches that of the original release) with what you could call `The Trinity' -- three songs that will make you want to pick up the new edition or at least think about it.
"Love Em All" leads with the newly single father of two declaring "Ladies Get In Line, I'm gonna take you back to school". Credited to Esther Dean and Prettyboifresh, among others, "Love Em All" is like Usher's official press release -- "I'm a free to get at every girl kind of guy". In case you didn't understand that, Usher breaks it down on "Love Em All," singing "lately I've been an oh I'm in love kind of guy, now I'm a single, beat it up kind of guy."
`Hot Tottie" is perhaps the defining track however. Following "Love Em All" and the equally club friendly "I'm single and ready to party" lead single "DJ Got Us Falling In Love (Polow Da Don), "Hot Tottie" features contributions from Esther Dean and Jay-Z, the latter adding lines like "Big ballin' is my hobby, so much they think I'm down with the Illuminati" -- "my watch do illuminate, my pockets are Gottie but, I'm God ya'll better ask somebody".
Picking up where he left off on "Love Em All" Usher goes beyond "I'm so cold, you're the hot tottie," singing "I'm a wild boy, you tryin' to tame me baby -- claiming you're a bad, show me baby" on "Hot Tottie." One of his best singles to date, comparable to the equally daring "Lil Freak" (feat. Nicki Minaj), Usher is at his best on the chorus singing "I'm like ooh kimosabe, your body is my hobby, we freakin', this ain't cheating, as long as we tell nobody. Tell your girls you leaving, I'll meet you in the lobby.. I`m so cold that I need a Hot Tottie".
Taking a break from the club, Usher slows it down on "Lay You Down." Produced by Rico Love, also behind "There Goes My Baby," "Lay You Down" is not Usher's best but nonetheless is a solid effort with him utilizing his falsetto singing "This ain't bump and grind, I'll show you what love is if you let me lay you down".
The remainder of the second disc includes previously released singles "Somebody To Love (Remix) with Justin Bieber and the June/July 2010 hit "There Goes My Baby". While Usher does a solid job on the last song, "Stranger," a song produced by Drumma Boy with words like "Sorry you put your trust in strangers and they let you down and I'll be knocking till you let me in -- I want the title of your closest friend, I no longer want to be a stranger," the other two songs "Lingerie" and "Get In My Car" can be bypassed unless you're a freak for sexy lingerie or interested in hearing a long rap from Bun B and Usher stating "there's too many women in here to waste all my time on you -- what you going to do?"
Overall, the deluxe edition is a solid effort worth a buy after the success of "Raymond Vs. Raymond" and its diverse singles, including "Lil Freak" and "Papers". Afterall, Usher seems to wrap up this successful era on with the new songs letting it be known "If you not going to finish, don't start no stuff" ("Get In My Car").
If you must download instead of picking up the deluxe edition, the stand outs are "Love Em All," "Hot Tottie,' "DJ Got Us Falling In Love," "Stranger" and "Lay You Down," that is if you've already downloaded or have "There Goes My Baby" on "Raymond V. Raymond".