our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
the release of Confessions, Atlanta native Usher Raymond
has gone from a mid-level soul/slow jam crooner to the biggest
thing in current urban pop.
is jumping out of the CD bins, selling 1.1 million its first week
and an additional 486,000 units in week number two. Not as strong
as the initial week, but strong enough to keep Janet Jackson’s
Damita Jo at a disappointing (for her expectations, anyways)
#2 on the Hot 100 chart.
before we get too excited; realize that Confessions is
a good album, but it does not merit the inconceivable sales figures.
Obviously the ultra-hooky and constantly played “Yeah”
did help in racking up the numbers (and big props to Lil Jon and
Ludacris for helping with that), but most of the constructed work
that is Confessions will not light up your house party
any more than a drowsy ballad from Ashanti.
Yes, there is some clever work on the disc;
“Take Your Hand," stands out with its sampling of old
Philadelphia Soul tracks (who could go wrong there?) as does the
guitar heavy git "Bad Girl" (which should be the obvious
follow-up single to “Yeah”), as well as the Jimmy
Jam/Terry Lewis produced “Superstar,” which are in
the same category of originality as “Yeah.”
the revelatory tracks, which mostly concern the reasons for his
much covered split with R&B chanteuse Chilli (from TLC), deal
with his infidelity to her, an unexpected pregnancy, and the fact
that he is a womanizer worthy of the busted playa in Shaggy’s
“It Wasn’t Me.” The collected songs really make
it seem as if Usher were publishing his very own tabloid rag.
all the momentum from Confessions, Usher may very well
end up being the heir apparent to the (now vacant) King of Pop
throne (no Justin, you will never be the KOP…not matter
what Rolling Stone proclaims). However, he has to overcome his
vocal limitations and maybe avoid opening his personal diary to
the universe, as sometimes confessing too much, can be painful.
5. Confessions, Pt. 2
7. Caught Up
10. Truth Hurts
11. Simple Things
12. Bad Girl
13. That's What It's Made For
14. Can U Handle It?
15. Do It to Me
16. Take Your Hand
17. Follow Me