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(Un)Covered: Love in This Club

“Love in This Club”
Writers: Usher, Polow da Don, Young Jeezy, Lamar Taylor, Ryon Lovett, Keith Thomas, Darnell Dalton
Original Release Date: February 22, 2008

When I was a kid, Usher was pretty much unavoidable. Whether he was popping up in random teen movies (his role as the school DJ in She’s All That result in my intense disappointment when I learned that school DJs aren’t actually a thing, at least not in Canada) or even more random TV shows (he was on 7th Heaven??), he was, of course, best known for hits like “Yeah!”, which has been stuck in my head for at least a decade, as well as “Love in This Club”.

Featuring a “Las Vegas” inspired beat—synths and a slow tempo that make you think of casino floors and bright lights—the song revolves around Usher meeting a new lady friend and becoming so overcome with lust that he…well, wants to make love in this club. It’s pretty blunt, and he doesn’t even try to sugarcoat his intentions, especially in Young Jeezy’s guest verse. Apparently, when producer Polow da Don started working on the song, it was with the hope that it would appeal to “female listeners”, since Usher’s popularity had declined after his first marriage…leading me to conclude that the world of R&B is a weird one.

With that kind of backstory, it’s hard to imagine a band as “wholesome” as The Summer Set covering it (this was in their pre-“Fuck U Over” days). There’s still a hint of synths, but the Las Vegas beat has been replaced by rock ‘n’ roll guitars, and Brian Dales’ distinctive voice gives it an almost innocent feel, despite the decidedly not-innocent lyrics. It’s the type of cover that you can blithely sing along to without quite realizing what it is you’re saying.

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