In partnership with

Usher - Here I Stand

2009-05-25 12:54
The album kicks off by launching into the massive radio anthem "Love in The Club". It's annoyingly infectious synthesized electro loops and barely-PG lyrics might be taking over the air waves right now, but don't let the lead single spoil the rest of the album for you.

Usher's sound over the last 14 years hasn't changed much. He still achieves a fine balance between up-tempo R&B/club-friendly singles and slow love jams. He still lays down smooth vocals over running chorus lines with varying pitches. And he stills collaborates with the best in the music industry.

Hip hop mogul Jay-Z pours his golden touch over "Best Thing", produced by studio maestro Jermaine Dupri. is featured on and produces the synthpop jam "What's Your Name", which sounds very much like a soul makeover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams". Elsewhere Beyonce add some booty factor to "Love in the Club, Part II". Whether the duo are hoping for the same award-winning success Usher shared with Alicia Keys and "My Boo" in 2005, we'll only know in February 2009 at the 51st Grammy Awards.

But while his sound might still be the same, Usher's attitude towards life and consequently his lyrics have changed. The proud, new father publicly pronounces his love for his baby boy, Usher Raymond V, in the interlude "Prayer For You", reminiscent of Babyface's The Day album in 1996.

The playboy eases into fidelity on "Love You Gently", treats his woman right on "This Ain't Sex" and settles down to play happy families on "Something Special" and "Lifetime". By the end of the closing track "Will Work for Love" you realize Usher has finally grown up and is not afraid to let men around the world know how to treat their women.

All in all, Here I Stand is superbly produced. Seriously smooth vocals and surprisingly mature lyrics set it apart from the pop drivel clogging up the urban contemporary charts and makes Usher's fifth studio album a must-own.

Throughout Confessions he bared his womanising soul. On Here I Stand it's clear Usher Raymond IV is done confessing. He's all grown up now, alluding to monogamous relationships, lasting marriage and devoted parenting. He's a father and a husband and committed to his responsibilities.

What to read next: Kalahari

Darren 2008/06/09 12:41 PM
bitterly dissapointed Agreed the production is faultless and the lyrics are far more matrured, but after listening to this album in my car fro last few days, i've come away underwelmed. In an age where the likes of Timbaland collaborates with everyone, ushers latest offering has come across as stale and hasnt bodded well in trying to created an old-school throwback. The entire album feels as though is was a "cut and paste" job from his previous work. Wat happened to usher being cutting-edge? Confessions was undoubtly one of the best works of this decade from an amazing artist. Here I Stand has failed to deliver this same feel, failed to captivate and has left this usher fan, bitterly dissapointed
Vuyo 2008/06/09 1:44 PM
same here Rushed out to buy the CD on the strength of Usher's last two CD's and the single, " Love in the club". What a waste of money! And given the long period he kept fans waiting for this album, I think its really pap. Even the collabo with Jay-Z failed to rock my boat.
MAZ 2008/06/09 1:47 PM
Usher is back moving mountains,in this club,best things...these tracks are of the hook,period. Usher is back iturboyMaz
k 2008/06/09 7:06 PM
k k
ER 2008/06/09 8:39 PM
Type your title hereDSDOOD 4HOIR]\
Lebo 2008/06/10 1:34 PM
Usher here i stand mhh! i defiantely have to agree with Darren on this one... i went to musica on saturday, as i was amazed at the new offering usher had for us... however i only like 2 songs form the lot... its quite dissapointing.. i wonder if marriage has actually spoiled his talent.... moving mountains and love in the club are the only songs good to the ear. His previous albums confessions and 8701 had hits and its songs that can be listened over and over again.. but hey he probably has e new target market!
sechaba 2008/06/18 4:03 PM
usher usher
tafadzwa mashingaidze 2008/07/02 12:16 PM
well done usher usher did well he is a good singer keep it up usher raymond.
patrick modillane 2008/07/16 1:35 PM
hi man Here i stand,dis is the nice album ive ever heard in my whole life.i luv dis album with my whole heart.I dedicate Ushers album to my lovely beautiful girlfriend.Her name is Onthatile Molokwe @ Tswane University of Technology.I love u babes,kissssssssssss.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.