First Hit #1: July 7, 2001
U Remind Me is a song about a damaged man, someone so broken by a previous relationship he can’t get into a new one. He says it’s because the new girl reminds him of the old one – though in the video none of the women he says this to actually look like each other, indicating a deeper scar – but it’s a poppy presentation of a poor excuse. Usher is singing a song from a different perspective from usual, but this is a pure breakup song, and it’s clear he’s actually singing to one woman, and it’s not the person he’s talking to in the song. It’s something that invites that reading because it doesn’t make sense otherwise – as an actual narrative, it’s a weird thing to say to a woman. But as a pop song that’s going to be on radios, it works. Usher has always been at least a little personal in his lyrics, and the song feels like a personal kiss off to a different subject. It’s something that’s only worth saying if the cause of the emotional distress is around to hear.
Otherwise, it sounds a lot like a song I can’t quite remember, and I’m not sure if he’s interpolating an older track into the lyrics or just generally trying to recall some older trends.