“Good Kisser (Disclosure Remix)" by Usher
An historic Grooves N Jams first is upon us! I have never liked a remix more than the original, that is, until Disclosure remixed Usher’s “Good Kisser.” Usher’s original — to be clear, an ode to oral sex and nothing less R-rated — moved just as the sex act should. It was deliberate; when bursts of sound emerged, they were purposeful and the song’s breathless climax was just that. Disclosure have done away with all of “Good Kisser“‘s nuance, but it’s for the better of the pop song buried under Usher’s come ons. It’s faster and tighter, ultimately better suited to a world that’s comfortable with seduction in unusual spaces (Tinder, for example). The familiarity required by the original lent itself only to circumstances where your card puncher really was the best, but Disclosure flirtatiously open the dance floor so “Good Kisser” can be applied insincerely. It’s perverse, but Usher’s full eye contact platitudes truly sound better when they’re served up with a wink.
As much as this plays like Disclosure ft. Usher, it also comes across like an argument that some artists would be better served by making collaborations like this rather than sticking to their own comfort zones. Usher hasn’t released a song this memorable since “Climax,” another track that used his talent in partnership with a producer whose work was a departure from his usual sound. Here, Disclosure take his distinctive vocal and meld it to a floor-filler beat that far surpasses the original production.
Similarly, I can’t even remember the original Timbaland-produced “Suit and Tie,” but I find myself circling back to Aeroplane’s nu-disco remix every so often. Like “Climax” and Disclosure’s remix, Aeroplane cast Justin Timberlake in a new light and revealed him as a vocalist perfectly, surprisingly suited for a different sound than expected. There are certainly established artists who operate with this model: think of the shock of hearing BEYONCE's ambient beats for the first time, of Kanye's ever-shifting sound, of Fall Out Boy's willingness to push rock paradigms. Usher (and Timberlake) would do well to learn from their example: this is a good song, but if it'd been released as the single itself, rather than a remix, it would've really been something worth paying attention to.