TITLE: “I Can’t Win”
WEB DEBUT: Feb. 20, 2008
ONE-LISTEN VERDICT: Far from the headache-inducing weirdness of “Dat Girl Right There”, Usher’s last Leak Of The Day, the anguished “I Can’t Win” finds producers Stargate lending a platinum sheen of melodramatic piano and strings guaranteed to add zeros to sales tallies and radio spins. Songwriter Ne-Yo has Usher professing his faithfulness to a disbelieving sweetie who’s been dogged out one too many times by other guys to believe him, and though the wounded Ush will do anything for love, he won’t suffer for someone else having been a big ol’ jerk. Ponderous and bland, this gloopy tear-jerker lacks the “Irreplaceable” bounce this dream team could have easily replicated. On the other hand, a canny rock band should think about quickly turning out a crossover cover in this post-”Apologize” era, whether it’s four nice guys toning down the syncopation and rewriting it in a 3 Doors Downian idiom or an up-and-coming emo band adding a little guyliner for their post-breakthrough ballad.
WHERE TO FIND IT: The Rap-Up, whose lone commenter is probably right in guessing this will be inescapable if and when it finally makes it to radio.