Somebody on Usher’s team is probably really, really pissed that Swedish House Mafia dance track “Euphoria”–once a front-runner for title track–now shares its name with this year’s Eurovision winner–itself a dance track. That’s a lot of inconvenient associations for a track that doesn’t really need them.
Swedish House Mafia are known for many things–most of them related to Ibiza somehow–but stylistic range isn’t one of them. Fittingly, “Euphoria” sounds a lot like the other SHM collaboration on the album. There are minor differences in mood–where “Numb” is becalmed, “Euphoria” is tense, but otherwise, you can practically chart the buildups and breakdowns without actually hearing it.
It’s not that Usher doesn’t have a right to dance music–he’s certainly done worse–i.e. almost every single last album–and he’s done his duty in what’s practically a dance-music Guetta-vocalist draft. It’s that “Euphoria” never quite takes off in the way its title, and its placement as Looking 4 Myself‘s final track, would suggest. It’d sound great in a club, sure, but it wouldn’t be a standout by any means; Usher and Swedish House Mafia talk about euphoria, but what they deliver is perfectly passable excitement. Maybe he’s not so different from Loreen after all.