Diplo & Usher “Climax”

The last time Diplo hooked up with a major male R&B star, the result was “Look At Me Now”, a superb dollop of avant-garde-ish hip hop and magnificent flow that had the power to make some of the hardest Chris Brown haters begin to thaw out over the singer (for everyone else, there was Busta Rhymes providing arguably the hottest rap verse of 2011).

This year, Diplo teams up with Usher for “Climax”, a sleek electro-soul ballad that takes the whole “sad about breaking up” theme that Ursh reigned over the mid ’00’s charts with on fare like “U Got It Bad”, with the more synth-y, electronic sound he’s leaned on in his most recent hit material.

It’s no “Look At Me Now”, lacking that single’s insta-jaw-dropping blast of weirdo creativity, but it definitely wins as a more modernized return-to-form for the crooner and his silky falsetto, a much more comfortable fit for Usher over the “OMG”‘s/ “DJ Got Us Falling In Love”‘s/ “More”‘s/ “Without You”‘s, platinum-scoring singles, yes, but tunes that mostly reduced him to a faceless any-singer.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that hearing this fills our brains with the titillating mental images of strippers twirling around poles in seductive slow-motion.