Usher’s SNL Appearance Wasn’t A ‘Scream’

Ramping up the promotion for his upcoming Looking for Myself, Usher took his talents to the stage for Saturday Night Live this weekend. In between appearing in a handful of sketches, including the 100th SNL Digital Short alongside protégé Justin Bieber and, of course, Justin Timberlake, he actually served as the episode's musical guest. Unfortunately, Usher brought more energy to his small features than he did to his musical performances. He first started off with the underwhelming "Scream," a dance music number in which the usually nimble-footed singer barely danced at all, instead opting to pose and strut across the stage. But it was his second selection, the falsetto-heavy "Climax," that proved to be the singer's undoing. Sustaining an entire song in falsetto is a daunting task for almost anyone, especially when Usher's vocals on "Scream" were already lackluster. The singer's notes cracked and creaked under the pressure, breaking the melodic allure that makes the studio version work so well. Perhaps if this had been his first song of the night it would've sounded better. As it was, It hurt to watch him strain to hit notes that just weren't within his reach. Having seen Usher perform live several times, I know that he's capable of putting on a spectacular show. This go 'round, however, his usual stage prowess just wasn't up to snuff. If you want, check out the performance of "Scream" below and, if you're feeling daring, "Climax" waits for you after the bounce.

After the bounce

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