Album Review: Usher - 'Here I Stand' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Usher - 'Here I Stand'

In the four years since his Grammy-winning effort Confessions, Usher got married, celebrated the birth of his baby boy, and conquered Broadway, but now he's back to his day job, making music. On the opening intro, he recalls the times when he felt all alone and celebrates finding the love of his life, the only problem is throughout the set you wait and yearn for him to move to different topics and more intense subjects, that fail to materialize. The album's lead single 'Love in this Club, which skyrocketed to No.1 and has literally forced everyone to attempt making love in the club and report to the dance floor for a little grind time. 'This Ain't Sex', a dance record produced by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart and Jazze Pha is definitely one of the standouts, that demands the ladies to report to the dance floor with hips swaying, stomping it out with a mean two-step as Usher coos, “We ain’t having sex, we just making moments.” On 'Trading Spaces', he flips roles for a male version of Destiny Child's 'Cater 2 You', which fails to live up to its predecessor. The “Tricky” Stewart and Terius “The-Dream” Nash produced, 'Moving Mountains' sees Usher singing in a different pitch and is confirmed to be the second single, even though it only possesses the quality of an album filler rather than a single. The assisted 'What's Your Name?' sounds like it was created for someone younger, such as the young stars of today Chris Brown, Omarion, or Lloyd. On 'Prayer For You (Interlude)', Usher’s baby boy cries as his father sings to him. He jokes and says, “Do I really sound that bad?” Usher rejoices over his gift of life and prays for his son to have a wonderful life. He promises to be an excellent father, as he sings, “You carry my name; I pray that you’re better than me.” Initially an acoustic joint but then the beat drops ''Something Special', is just the opposite of its title, possessing nothing more than an wedding reception charm. This is where the gear shifts to a more monogamous, growing speed which will continue throughout most of the remainder of the album. 'Love You Gently' shouts out some bedroom music making greats. “How ’bout some foreplay? Got that Sade, Al Green, and Marvin Gaye too!” This song still fails to ignite the spark of flame that were use to him delivering. With Jermaine Dupri at the helm, Usher teams with Jay-Z on 'Best Thing' which shows us the side of Usher we're use to seeing, but still a piece of the puzzle is missing. On 'Before I Met You', Usher re-confesses he used to lie and cheat before he met his lifetime lady. “I was a hustler and a player, girl, before I met you", sings on possibly the album's best song. 'His Mistakes' sees Usher embracing a slightly different sound other than the traditional Stargate has become accustom to making since the success of Beyonce's 'Irreplaceable'. The Danja produced 'Appetite' shows Usher telling a story full of deceit and lust. “Wifey at home and wedding band on my hand.” The background music plays while Usher spells his name like he’s done so many times before, “U-S-H-E-R-R-A-Y-M-O-N-D" and confesses he has a wandering eye, but promises to do right by his lady. 'What’s a Man to Do?' reveals Stargate going back to the sound that I just gave him credit from straying a way from. 'Lifetime', produced by Usher's younger brother James “JLack” Lackey, shows Usher embracing the sound of the 90s. 'Love in This Club (Part II)' serves as a nice followup to the original as Usher and BeyoncĂ© argue the pros and cons of doing the deed. On the album's closer 'Here I Stand', Usher testifies that his lady is the only one for him and he thanks those that have gotten him to where he is now. Overall Here I Stand is nothing more than an album full of fillers, with very few tracks exemplifying something more. You feel cheated, mad that you waited four years for this, and question whether Usher bringing his new cemented home life into his music is a good idea.

2 out of 5

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