Usher”s new video for “Numb” opens with a real footage scene, he”s on stage in Berlin at the O2 Arena in January with sweat pouring down his face. He walked off the stage after two songs, leaving the audience tremendously disappointed.
From there, we hear Usher in voiceover where he talks about feeling like a failure as he stands on stage, seemingly paralyzed with fright and doubt and unable to perform.
[More after the jump…]
The rest of the video is a triptych of images inside Usher”s life including his sitting by the deathbed of a woman and man, playing with his son, his continuous struggle on stage, and receiving a private dance from a stripper. It”s an intensely personal clip, so personal that the casual fan will have no idea what he”s referencing in most of the scenes, to an upbeat dance clip (at least musically) produced by Swedish House Mafia.
Despite the uptempo, in the lyrics, he”s chastising himself over and over: “Keep on doing the same old thing and expecting change/is that really insanity or a loser”s game,” he sings.
The most electrifying footage features Usher dancing inside a clear, plexiglass box to symbolize his feeling of being trapped. He remains a stunning dancer to watch, full of agility and strength.
“Numb,” directed by Chris Applebaum and Grace Harry, portrays a complex portrait of an artist wrestling with his demons. If those are of no interest –or indecipherable to you– it”s worth a gander for the dancing and shirtless scenes, and Usher”s ability to convey anguish. He seems anything but “Numb.”
“Numb” is the current single from the R&B star”s “Looking 4 Myself” album.