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Usher - Here I Stand Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 6.5
Production 9
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.13
Musicianship 5.13
Lyrics 5.13
Production 5.13
Creativity 5.13
Lasting Value 5.13
Reviewer Tilt 5.13
Average: 51%

Usher - Here I Stand

Reviewed by: weworemasks (06/22/08)
Usher - Here I Stand
Record Label: LaFace Records
Release Date: May 26, 2008


Since the release of 2004’s Confessions, Usher Raymond IV has gone through many life-transforming changes. Aside from one of the highest-selling albums of the decade, the R&B sensation has settled down, managed to get married and saw the birth of his first son.

Usher used this transformation into adulthood as a stepping stone and a blueprint for Here I Stand, his first studio album in four years. At face value, Here I Stand is a collection of songs that is no different than material found on Confessions, 8701 or even his debut album, My Way. Despite the familiarity, the songs on Here I Stand reflect his new-found maturity as his writing is more focused on taking care of his family and new-found fidelity.

On Here I Stand, Usher finds himself doing what he does best, which is creating tracks that are focused on sexuality, in every sense. Songs like “Trading Places,” “Love You Gently” and “This Ain’t Sex” should come as no surprise. Oddly enough, “This Ain’t Sex” is one of the more refined songs on the album. Aside from the cliché lyrics, the song is very reminiscent of an early 90's Michael Jackson.

Other standout tracks on the album include “Best Thing,” which sees a guest verse from hip-hop’s finest, Jay-Z. “Appetite” has a catchy hook and a very slick beat, and is another perfectly crafted hit in the making and could easily see mainstream success.

Fatherhood has brought out a new perspective in the superstar’s life. In “Prayer For You,” Usher sings a soulful melody to his infant son, who is heard cooing in the song’s background. In it, he bares all as he sings, “You carry my name / I pray that you’re better than me,” which is sure to tug on a few heart strings.

“Moving Mountains,” a song whose beat is very suggestive of a Timbaland influence, and is also slated to be the next single, is one of Usher’s most impressive efforts to date. The track is to Here I Stand what “Burn” was to Confessions, exploring the struggles of a failing relationship and its effects on both parties.

An album with 17 songs is bound to have a little bit of filler. Songs like the will.i.am produced “What’s Your Name?” and “Something Special” could have easily been left off of the album.

Considering the genre, the artist runs a very high risk of writing cliché and cheesy lyrics. Songs like “Trading Places” reads more like an online blog entry rather than a song. The type of storytelling approach in “Trading Places” and “Love You Gently” do not seem to be Usher’s forte, and should be reserved for R. Kelly, who penned the highly-addicting and narrated “Trapped in the Closet” series.

Aside from the minor setbacks, Here I Stand is a highly-addictive and cohesive album which takes influences from the the best of modern and classic R&B. The impressive production line-up has also been beneficial to Usher, and fans of the R&B crooner's previous albums should be able to find several gems on this disc.

Growing up may have taken toll on Usher’s personal life, but it has not altered the man’s ability to create refreshing music.

Recommended if You Likeanything Usher has ever done, sex, dancing, classic R&B/pop music

myspace.com/usher
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
04:24 PM on 06/23/08
#2
.KillMoneen.
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i find it to be really boring..but i guess it maybe just because my mom has some kinda creepy obsession with usher.
05:02 PM on 06/23/08
#3
teenagetwilight
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Good album.
07:05 PM on 06/23/08
#4
hockeyguitar99
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No

well written review

terrible album
08:47 PM on 06/23/08
#5
CircaSin
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I love how you see reviews of underground scene albums, some that dont even reach stores, and then you see a review for usher. you do know that hiphop also has an underground scene right?
01:41 AM on 06/24/08
#6
Chris Fallon
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I love how you see reviews of underground scene albums, some that dont even reach stores, and then you see a review for usher. you do know that hiphop also has an underground scene right?
Then write a review yourself.
12:48 PM on 06/24/08
#7
weworemasks
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I love how you see reviews of underground scene albums, some that dont even reach stores, and then you see a review for usher. you do know that hiphop also has an underground scene right?

hey dude, not only should you listen to chris (quoted below) but you should fuck off. i write for my school newspaper, where i had reviewed this album previously. and i know for sure i haven't seen a review for usher on this website. so why the fuck would i NOT submit it to a site i visit? and how is it hurting the review database in any way?

go do something productive, or continue being a jerk-off.

Then write a review yourself.

thanks, man.

i find it to be really boring..but i guess it maybe just because my mom has some kinda creepy obsession with usher.

ahahah, what the hell?
02:43 AM on 06/25/08
#8
heyzombiehitler
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i find it to be really boring..but i guess it maybe just because my mom has some kinda creepy obsession with usher.

Haha its okay. My mom has a wierd obsession with steve perry from journey.
04:05 AM on 06/25/08
#9
Plunk
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I just don't understand how could one review a record of Usher or any other current R'n'b "artist". It's just a gigantic musical void! Sorry if what I'm gonna say is shocking but to me, it just seems to be music for ignorant rednecks/sluts who think that there is no other music that what they're fed on MTV!
You can't concentrate on it without realizing it's plain shit! People who listen to it have to... not really listen to it, it's a background hum in your radio or in a club, it can't be more than that!!


I don't understand! Really!


...It's just my opinion...
12:11 PM on 06/25/08
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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I just don't understand how could one review a record of Usher or any other current R'n'b "artist". It's just a gigantic musical void! Sorry if what I'm gonna say is shocking but to me, it just seems to be music for ignorant rednecks/sluts who think that there is no other music that what they're fed on MTV!
You can't concentrate on it without realizing it's plain shit! People who listen to it have to... not really listen to it, it's a background hum in your radio or in a club, it can't be more than that!!


I don't understand! Really!


...It's just my opinion...

Tool, Deftones, Isis, Radiohead, Thursday, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World, dredg, Cave In, At the Drive In, A Perfect Circle, Envy, Biffy Clyro, Silverchair, Incubus, Feeder, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Hundred Reasons, Rage Against the Machine, Cult of Luna, Smashing Pumpkins, Funeral for a Friend, Circa Survive...

so none of the bands i've bolded have ever been on MTV or radio? you are one of the dumbest people i've ever seen post. period.

how is r&b for ignorant rednecks/sluts? you live in france, do you even have the SLIGHTEST fucking clue as to what a redneck even is?

rhythm and blues is, has and always be an art form. regardless of if you like it or not. usher's been around for longer/as long as many of the bands on your list. now go fist yourself.
09:57 AM on 06/26/08
Plunk
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Tool, Deftones, Isis, Radiohead, Thursday, Thrice, Jimmy Eat World, dredg, Cave In, At the Drive In, A Perfect Circle, Envy, Biffy Clyro, Silverchair, Incubus, Feeder, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Hundred Reasons, Rage Against the Machine, Cult of Luna, Smashing Pumpkins, Funeral for a Friend, Circa Survive...

so none of the bands i've bolded have ever been on MTV or radio? you are one of the dumbest people i've ever seen post. period.

how is r&b for ignorant rednecks/sluts? you live in france, do you even have the SLIGHTEST fucking clue as to what a redneck even is?

rhythm and blues is, has and always be an art form. regardless of if you like it or not. usher's been around for longer/as long as many of the bands on your list. now go fist yourself.
I knew I was gonna get trashed...

To begin with, I apologize for wording my opinion in a harsh and violent way; I was just trying to express my "incomprehension", in a very inappropriate way, I'll admit it. Sorry, I always do that.

What I was trying to explain, is that to me, music like Usher is... well... horrible, and I don't understand how anyone else than people who are not really into music, casual listeners who've never heard anything else than Soulja Boy kind of stuff, can really appreciate it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are one of these people (the fact that you are posting stuff on this site proves it). I was just trying to say that that kind of music, like for example music by the Pussycat Dolls, that nu-R&B stuff, is in my opinion like an empty shell; I just don't understand what can people appreciate in it (that kind of slick, overproduced, radio-ready music; just like boy band music actually, but without the band!), what's good in it.

I know it's a "strange" and provocative opinion. Usually, I tend to throw everyone that listen to this kind of music in the category "average listener, who just listens to marketed music on the radio, who buys 2-3 CD's a year", I believe that enjoying it can only happen if you've never heard anything "better" than that and therefore can't suspect there is way better things elsewhere (idiot comparison: if you go to McDonald's everyday since the beginning of your life, you don't know there is way better food elsewhere).
I've tried to express it in a mild way (it's hard!), I don't mean to look pretentious (...but I do!). But I think I'm not the only one to think that, it's just hard to tell it without shocking people and being considered an intolerant prick.

Of course, there is music that I personally don't like, but it's just a matter of taste, it's subjective. In the case of Usher, I just believe well... that noone can like it once you have a little knowledge of music; it's just mass-consumption music, not even better than Miley Cyrus! Once again, I know it sounds really intolerant, but that's the only way I can express it.


As for the MTV thing, I was thinking of that kind of maketed music I mentioned earlier. Moreover, I don't really know which different channels there are in the USA. I just heard that the "real" MTV isn't MTV anymore (no music, just stupid reality shows), and that there is also MTV2, dedicated to more alternative music (I suppose the bands you have bolded are present on this channel). Here in France, there are several channels, but it seems there is no difference between them! It's always 50 Cent, Pussycat Dolls and stuff! There is just the English version of MTV2, dedicated to rock music.

...Isis and Cult of Luna are on MTV?!


I repeat it, I'm not trying to sound like an intolerant asshole. I'm just questioning...

...And I know what a redneck is, it's that
I was more thinking of the equivalent of redneck in France, it's a little different
10:06 AM on 06/26/08
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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I knew I was gonna get trashed...

To begin with, I apologize for wording my opinion in a harsh and violent way; I was just trying to express my "incomprehension", in a very inappropriate way, I'll admit it. Sorry, I always do that.

What I was trying to explain, is that to me, music like Usher is... well... horrible, and I don't understand how anyone else than people who are not really into music, casual listeners who've never heard anything else than Soulja Boy kind of stuff, can really appreciate it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are one of these people (the fact that you are posting stuff on this site proves it). I was just trying to say that that kind of music, like for example music by the Pussycat Dolls, that nu-R&B stuff, is in my opinion like an empty shell; I just don't understand what can people appreciate in it (that kind of slick, overproduced, radio-ready music; just like boy band music actually, but without the band!), what's good in it.

I know it's a "strange" and provocative opinion. Usually, I tend to throw everyone that listen to this kind of music in the category "average listener, who just listens to marketed music on the radio, who buys 2-3 CD's a year", I believe that enjoying it can only happen if you've never heard anything "better" than that and therefore can't suspect there is way better things elsewhere (idiot comparison: if you go to McDonald's everyday since the beginning of your life, you don't know there is way better food elsewhere).
I've tried to express it in a mild way (it's hard!), I don't mean to look pretentious (...but I do!). But I think I'm not the only one to think that, it's just hard to tell it without shocking people and being considered an intolerant prick.

Of course, there is music that I personally don't like, but it's just a matter of taste, it's subjective. In the case of Usher, I just believe well... that noone can like it once you have a little knowledge of music; it's just mass-consumption music, not even better than Miley Cyrus! Once again, I know it sounds really intolerant, but that's the only way I can express it.


As for the MTV thing, I was thinking of that kind of maketed music I mentioned earlier. Moreover, I don't really know which different channels there are in the USA. I just heard that the "real" MTV isn't MTV anymore (no music, just stupid reality shows), and that there is also MTV2, dedicated to more alternative music (I suppose the bands you have bolded are present on this channel). Here in France, there are several channels, but it seems there is no difference between them! It's always 50 Cent, Pussycat Dolls and stuff! There is just the English version of MTV2, dedicated to rock music.

...Isis and Cult of Luna are on MTV?!


I repeat it, I'm not trying to sound like an intolerant asshole. I'm just questioning...

...And I know what a redneck is, it's that
I was more thinking of the equivalent of redneck in France, it's a little different

don't compare usher to the pussycat dolls or miley cyrus. he has been around for over 10 years making good pop/soul/r+b music. i don't care what your opinion is on him, but he is not just "radio" music. he is a relevant artist making relevant music, and is mocked by some of pop's biggest stars today...heard of ne-yo, chris brown or omarion? all of them try to be what usher was.

i listen to A LOT of different types of music. yes, i have my guilty pleasures. yes, i love usher. but go look in my profile and you'll see that i like every thing from hardcore to gangsta rap to french house/electro. i'm not the average listener and as far as this site is concerned, i have a more diverse taste than most. i don't pigeonhole myself into a scene, i work on a blog with my friend that embraces all types of music (i mean shit, there's even a musical posted on there). i buy about 2-3 albums a month, also.

yes, i've listened to and love sigur ros, but i also love usher. there's no law that says i can't do both. you should spend more time broadening music tastes and less time criticizing what's reviewed on a music web site. give other genre's a shot and stop categorizing ALL POP music as if they were all the same.
10:17 AM on 06/26/08
Plunk
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don't compare usher to the pussycat dolls or miley cyrus. he has been around for over 10 years making good pop/soul/r+b music. i don't care what your opinion is on him, but he is not just "radio" music. he is a relevant artist making relevant music, and is mocked by some of pop's biggest stars today...heard of ne-yo, chris brown or omarion? all of them try to be what usher was.

i listen to A LOT of different types of music. yes, i have my guilty pleasures. yes, i love usher. but go look in my profile and you'll see that i like every thing from hardcore to gangsta rap to french house/electro. i'm not the average listener and as far as this site is concerned, i have a more diverse taste than most. i don't pigeonhole myself into a scene, i work on a blog with my friend that embraces all types of music (i mean shit, there's even a musical posted on there). i buy about 2-3 albums a month, also.

yes, i've listened to and love sigur ros, but i also love usher. there's no law that says i can't do both. you should spend more time broadening music tastes and less time criticizing what's reviewed on a music web site. give other genre's a shot and stop categorizing ALL POP music as if they were all the same.
It's OK, I went to your profile and I saw that your tastes are diverse and that you are probably the kind of listener I described. And I admit that my tastes are less diverse, but I'm ready to change that.
I try not to categorize music too much and I consider myself to be open-minded (yeah, I know, it really doesn't seem like it), but personally, I'm really not into pop music, I tried but it just doesn't work with me... But as I said, it's just me.
11:39 PM on 06/26/08
cscwell107
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Personally I think usher kicks ass. He has amazing vocal talent . The first cd I ever bought was usher's "My Way".
11:07 AM on 07/03/08
Adrian Villagomez
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We appreciate your writing here, Mr. Roshan.
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