Anyone who was hesitant to purchase Usher’s “Looking 4 Myself” album on the first day of its release in stores yesterday is being given a free preview from AolMusic.com. The event is being billed as the Full CD Listening Party and allows curious consumers to hear every track from the deluxe edition of the album which consists of 18 songs. There are no login requirements necessary to take part in this online event. You have the option of letting the album play in its entirety or selecting the tracks you want to hear. You can repeat random tracks as many times as you would like. If you like the album you can click the “Buy Now” feature where you will be directed to Amazon.com to purchase the CD for $9.99 which will provide you with 14 tracks or the deluxe edition for $11.99 which will give you an additional 4 songs.
The music page does not provide any additional information outside of the CD cover and track listing. There is no biographical information on Usher or any mention of producers or songwriters used on the tracks mentioned. If you had no idea who Usher was AOL does state under his image that he sounds like Chris Brown and D’Angelo which some could argue is a disservice to Usher and his legacy.
It is unclear as to whether this all access leak will boost Usher’s sales or encourage fans to bookmark the AOL music page to listen to the album for free rather than make a purchase. Usher’s last album, “Raymond v. Raymond” debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 329,107 copies when it was released on March 26, 2010.