Usher releases powerful new video for “Numb”

October 14, 2012

It’s classic Usher with a meaningful twist. The 33-year-old R&B icon’s latest release is a music video with a message: that sometimes when things seem like they can’t get worse and you feel as if you’ve hit rock bottom, the best thing for you to do is go “numb”.

The video, which premiered this past Thursday on VEVO, opens with footage from a concert Usher performed at in Berlin, Germany, where an announcer explains that the show has been cancelled because Usher “just couldn’t do it”. This evolves into alternating shots of the artist brokenly approaching a microphone, and lightning splitting the sky during a menacing thunderstorm. Voicing over the footage, Usher explains that he “felt like a failure: hopeless, paralyzed, numb”, before the synthetic opening beats begin and the song takes off.

The track is an up-tempo, inspirational ballad describing something everyone can relate to: a time of despair in which things don’t go as planned. Rather than dwell on the bad and surrender yourself to a life of suffocation, Usher encourages listeners to push past the misery and go “numb” to the pain. The video is beautifully orchestrated, incorporating racing skies and shots of Usher stuck inside a glass box. It is both inside this box and onstage in front of an enormous crowd that he performs his signature choreography, perhaps as a message that even in harsh times, it’s possible to push through and stay strong. As an added emotional component, the video shows Usher curled up with a woman on a hospital bed, providing the viewer a glimpse into the window of his heart.

Overall, the video for “Numb” is beautiful. It’s inspiration meets hope, despair meets strength, and overall, a wonderful demonstration of Usher’s courage as an individual and creativity as an artist.

Haven’t gotten the chance to check out the music video yet? View it below:

-Shelley DeHekker

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