Usher and Diplo’s last collaboration around a Valentine’s Day was about a fraught relationship reaching its end. But their new one is about an enticingly dangerous beginning.
Following their consensus smash single “Climax,” a bold minimalist showcase for Usher’s higher ranges and Diplo’s classy restraint, the duo have returned with “Go Missin’,” a new track that follows the same sonic principles to very different ends. (Watch the video below.)
Built on a trim foundation of synth peals and well-placed drum machines, the showroom piece here is Usher’s way with harmonies. His unorthodox, modality-shifting arrangements make this invitation to infidelity feel a little seasick and creepy. It’s going to be the most harmonically complex song on pop radio by a long shot.
Usher’s an excellent vocalist, and the voices are so pristine and unnerving in composition that “Go Missin’” walks a line between digital witch-magic and the hair-raising choral work of Ligeti.
Of course, this is a Diplo cut, and the music underneath is still full of roiling snares and boomy bass kicks, which makes its tale of clubland cuckoldry feel convincing. Will it be the same smash that “Climax” became? My faith in pop radio’s weirdness would be restored if it does. But even if not, it’s another occasion to hear two talented artists challenging each other to raise their stakes.
We’ll take that climax any day.