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Hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since Usher dropped his debut album. The eternally boyish superstar has made magic on wax, on movie screens, on the Broadway stage, and most recently as the amiable judge on the televised reality show The Voice.

His eight album catalog is inconsistent (to say the least,) particularly when it comes to his more recent efforts. A natural soul singer, recent years have found Usher squandering his gift by leaning heavily on the EDM craze. Like many artists, Usher has gone from “instant buy” status to “proceed with caution” when it comes to my own music purchasing/consumption habits.

A new track called “Good Kisser” was released today, and, thankfully, it’s not another frenetic dance tune. It’s also not a work of vocal and production genius like his last major hit single, “Climax,” was. From a production and lyrical standpoint, “Kisser” is pretty skeletal, essentially Usher just singing over a looped bass line. On one hand, this gives me hope that Usher is leaving the glow sticks behind, but on the other hand, he’s capable of so much better. Folks in our general age range (“our”-myself & Usher) need a little more.

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