Climax

Album: Looking for Myself (2012)
Charted: 4 17
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This slow jam finds R&B singer Usher in lover mode as he croons in his falsetto, "Where are you now, when I need you around?" over producer Diplo's rippling synths. Diplo tweeted: "I'm pretty sure in 9 months there are gonna be a lot of new babies that this song is responsible for." The song was released via Twitter on February 14, 2012, as a Valentine's Day present for his fans.
  • Philadelphia producer Diplo's resume also includes Chris Brown's hit "Look At Me Now." He penned this song with Ariel Rechtshaid, who is the bassist of the Los Angeles-based folk-rock band Foreign Born, and has also produced for Cass McCombs, We Are Scientists and Plain White Ts. The third credited co-writer is South Florida singer-songwriter Redd Stylez, whose debut album Let It Play was released in 2006.
  • The strings were arranged by the Manhattan-based classical composer Nico Muhly, whose work with Pop/Rock musicians includes arrangements and orchestration for Grizzly Bear ("Ready, Able"), Antony and the Johnsons, ("Everglade") and Jónsi ("Go Do").
  • Speaking with US radio station V-103, Usher explained this is not intended to be a song about sex, but rather the complication of relationships. He said: "It's not even about sex. It's really about the ultimate experience or lack thereof. Or the finale of an experience of love and life. When you're in a relationship and it has kinda reached the climax of where it can go, you gotta let it go if you are not going to commit."
  • Diplo told MTV News about working with Usher on this song: "We got really luck on that one. We just had great chemistry. I was super-nervous working with him the first two days. The way we did it, it was just a super-open format. He was down to do whatever we were excited about."
  • Speaking with UK newspaper The Guardian, Diplo explained the song started with the concept about looking back at what he felt at one time was a perfect relationship. He explained: "With this one I had explained to him about a moment I had with a girl where I felt like I could die with her and be content, but I didn't and life moved on, and that point in my life was over. It was a sad feeling but it was beautiful. He was relating with me about the idea and how many times you think things are perfect and feel that way but they can pass. I remember I was tryin' to explain a Portuguese word 'saudade' to him when we were just writing the lyrics; it's the feeling of nostalgia, but it's hard to make sense of in English."
  • This topped Time magazine's Best Songs of 2012 list. Runner-up was PSY's "Gangnam Style."
  • As well as addressing romance, Usher also uses creative wordplay to pay homage to electronic dance music. "It's about a relationship that was cut short because I was unwilling to move to the next level," he explained to Entertainment Weekly. "A lot of times, it's about sex first if there's not a deeper connection. So you reach that climax and then it's like, 'Man, let's just separate.' I was also hanging out in a lot of EDM clubs, and there's this point where the song reaches the climax and then drops back down, so there are double and triple entendres there."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Don Brewer of Grand Funk

Don Brewer of Grand FunkSongwriter Interviews

The drummer and one of the primary songwriters in Grand Funk talks rock stardom and Todd Rundgren.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Jimmy Jam

Jimmy JamSongwriter Interviews

The powerhouse producer behind Janet Jackson's hits talks about his Boyz II Men ballads and regrouping The Time.

Spooner Oldham

Spooner OldhamSongwriter Interviews

His keyboard work helped define the Muscle Shoals sound and make him an integral part of many Neil Young recordings. Spooner is also an accomplished songwriter, whose hits include "I'm Your Puppet" and "Cry Like A Baby."

Protest Songs

Protest SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know your protest songs (including the one that went to #1)?