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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Only ''Confessions'' Review you will need to read !!, 20 Mar. 2004
Uaher Raymond. Young. Talented. Troubled. Back for the 0-4 to represent in the only possible way he knows how. Some real music. This time round Usher is coming at us with some of that real r'n'b...i'm not talking Destinys Child or B2K. I'm talking real soul. The only 'pop' Usher has anything to do with is his collar, believe that.
Most Usher fans especially the younger ones will be surprised at his move into old school soul jams...influences are old and new. I'm sensing Marvin Gaye, Prince, Michael Jackson, R.Kelly, D'Angelo, Glenn Lewis and Music Soulcild. This time round Usher has decided to venture into that ''Philly Soul'' sound, mostly crafted by the production genius of Vidal Davis and Andre Harris (Jill Scott, Floetry etc) and he's left behind the beat-heavy production of of The Neptunes (Anything to do with Justin i wonder ?). Ushers vocals this time around have improved drastically...i'm definately sensing the hunger he has to prove himself again as the talented Vocalist/Performer he is, through his vocals. Usher seems to have falsetto-fever (Justin again ?)and his harmonies are as tight as ever. This album only has 2 upbeat club bangers, the first single ''Yeah'' and the amazing ''Caught up'' (a very different style for Vidal and Andre).
Production-wise: Obviously apart from the Philly soul of Vidal and Andre, we have Ushers long term collaborator 'Jermaine Dupri' who blesses us with the fantastic and apperently next single ''Burn'' (VERY similar to 'U got it bad') and also the title cut ''Confessions'', a true story about how he 'fessed up to Chilli about getting another girl pregnant, Ouch! Also, Jermaines' ex-right hand man 'Lil Jon' Brings that southern crunk to ''Yeah'', Back again to add some flava are the legends that are 'Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' (see the very personal ''Truth Hurts'') and we also have man of the moment 'Just blaze' (see ''Throwback'').
All in all, a tight album...mostly slow and soulful but tight and beautifully performed. His most personal record yet. I hope fans take the time to really listen and give it a chance, instead of the usual ''its not fast enough !''....''where are the Neptunes ?''...squash all that. This is soul music for the 0-4. Usher's aiming to be in the same league as the R.Kellys and Marys of the R'n'b World...Not the Britneys and Justins. And speaking of Justin...the boy has talent but the comparisons have to stop. Usher was there b4 and u know he'll be there after. Simple. Enjoy....