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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Album Review: Usher - Here I Stand

This is what it sounds like when R&B wants to grow up. Or maybe this is what it sounds like when an entertainer desires to attain to higher artistry. Either way, Usher's Here I Stand was up for much scrutiny following the record-breaking success of his last album, the 8 times platinum Confessions, and the recent melodrama surrounding him and his family. However, all of that is autobiographically brought to the table on Here I Stand, with mixed results, but overall the point is clear: Usher is striving hard to do right by his new wife and son. Fans, say goodbye to the ab-bearing, pant-dropping bed-hopper... he is no more (at least, according to the B. Cox-produced "Before I Met You", that is).

Standouts here include...
  • the lead single "Love In This Club" - Don't care if Polow took it from Garage Band. It's still a banger, if not an unsanitary one.
  • "Trading Places" - Usher (with help from The-Dream and Trickey Stewart) gets his Prince on. That's all I'm saying.
  • second single "Moving Mountains" - one of Ush's best vocal performances on this album
  • "What's Your Name" feat. Will.I.Am - Will spitting an entire rhyme with almost no real words... impressive. Usher's vocal arrangements on this track... also impressive. Combination = impressive song, good collabo.
  • "Lifetime"- Produced by Usher's lil bro J-Lack, this is one of the better "I love Tameka" tracks.
Unfortunately, fall-flats include...
  • "Best Thing" feat. Jay-Z - a misnomer indeed. Jay opens up with his usual tight flow, then Ush drops the ball with a sappy verse and a hook with no... well, hook. Niiice beat, though.
  • "Appetite" - Maaan, I really wanted to like this one. It combines one of my favorite producers, Danjahandz, with one of my favorite writing teams, The Clutch. Result? A less-than-stellar "I love Tameka, but it's really hard to stay faithful" track.


T.H. Foster said...

I enjoyed this post because you used the term "misnomer". More people need to use that word. Seriously.

J. Pure said...

You know... gotta drop a little vocab in there. LOL

Fame < Infamy said...

i hate that cd it is no confesions lol