Usher Raymond has been away for some time. In his absence many tried to fill the void he left. Marquis Houston, formerly of IMX tried to do the whole smooth/sexy/dancer/crooner thing to nominal success. B2K appealed to younger fans, with lead singer Omarion apparently eyeing Usher’s crown as King of R&B.
Clearly that jolly ole (blue-eyed) soul, Justin Timberlake was the top contender to take the place of Usher in the hearts and minds of R&B fans. On Confessions Usher attempts to wrestle the limelight away from the boy band refugees.
Now before I begin actually reviewing let me first say that I despise R&B as a genre. You can read all about it here. That said, this album is nearly unflawed.
Since many songs have Usher singing about infidelity, on his part, or to a special woman it would be easy to read into and say they are about Chili (from TLC fame). But since I know how I hate when the press tries to decipher my personal life through my writing I will afford Usher a courtesy and not jump to conclusions.
Confessions has several stand out tracks. As much as it hurts me to say, because I really believe Lil’ Jon (who produced the track) is the Antichrist, â€œYeah!â€ is a certified club banger. The beat is irresistible, and Usher rides it like a pro. Of course having Ludacris spit a few bars didn’t hurt either.
The Just Blaze produced â€œThrowbackâ€ is hot to death. Just provides a beat that drips with nostalgia, which perfectly fits Usher’s lyrics lamenting the break up with an ex. Plus it’s the second song on the album, after â€œYeahâ€ so Confessions starts off brilliantly.
â€œSuperstarâ€ is probably the strongest song on the album. Usher plays the role of a fan to his girl’s Superstar. It rides a mesmerizing sample of Willie Hutch’s â€œStroll/Getaway (Chase Scene) (the same sample 9th Wonder used in his reworking of Jay-Z’s â€œMy First Song.â€) Seriously, that cut has me wishing I had someone to share it with.
In all fairness the whole album is filled with potential singles. Other notable songs; â€œCan You Handle Itâ€ co written by (Robin) Thicke is another nice chill out track, and â€œDo It To Meâ€ where Usher channels his inner Prince. But like I said, there is hardly a bad song on the album.
The only flaws on the album are Usher’s constant apologizing for cheating, and pleading with his ex to make amends. You want to grab him and say, â€œI get it, you’re sorry. But you have to accept that sometimes things don’t work out. You may have to consider moving on.â€ Even if you tire of the subject matter, you won’t tire of the songs. Usher also gets bonus point for including lyrics.