The Associated Press

It has only been a few months since Usher released Raymond V. Raymond and he’s back with another album, kind of.

Versus is a nine-song project that will be available as a single disc or part of a deluxe, re-released version of Raymond V. Raymond. But Versus is not all new material. It has two songs you already have heard: his current hit, There Goes My Baby, which was on Raymond V. Raymond, and the remix to Somebody to Love, which features protege Justin Bieber and is on Bieber’s album.

So, with only seven new tracks, it is more like an EP and, like Raymond V. Raymond, it is another uneven effort from an artist talented enough to do better.

Songs like DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love, featuring Pitbull, will get you moving on the dance floor but that has more to do with the standard club beat than Usher, who makes little impact on this song. Hot Tottie is another so-so track, despite the guest appearance of Jay-Z, who delivers a surprisingly uninspired verse; maybe he has had one too many cameos of late.

Usher shines when he is able to display his sterling voice plus his signature sensuality and swagger. On the album’s best song, Lay You Down, he seduces with every note, every moan. The uptempo Lingerie sounds like it is circa the 5-year-old Confessions but, given the excellence of that album, that’s actually a good thing. Love ‘Em All and Get in My Car feature Usher at his playboy best.

If we had more of these kinds of songs, this would be a tight, must-get song collection; as it is, you’re better off cherry-picking and creating your own, even shorter, Usher EP.

Check out this track: Any points Usher loses for being crass, he gets back from the bombastic groove on Get in My Car, where he croons, “There’s too many girls in here to waste my time on you, what you gonna do?”