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Usher

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

She Came to Give it to You by Usher, with Nicki Minaj; streaming at youtube.com

Pharrell Williams, the man with the Midas R&B touch has gone cold, not gold.

The new single from the urban-music smoothie Usher is produced by Williams, the hit-maker behind blockbuster tunes from Robin Thicke and Daft Punk, and the author of his own delirious ditty, Happy.

Story continues below advertisement

With the new track She Came to Give it to You, Williams enables Usher's obsession with Michael Jackson, with MJ-like vocal lines set against a party-starting, bass-plunking rhythm and distant memories of dance floors. The barely funky track hustles along unremarkably until the unmistakable arrival of Nicki Minaj, who in a vice-squeezed voice squeaks about Jackson's early Jheri curls, safe-sex advice – "don't be like O.J. and forget your glove" – and possibly the disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Pharrell's winning streak had to come to an end at some point. Last one to leave the room, please turn off his disco ball.

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