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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Think We've Got Something Special
Stop the press... we have a major problem here! Usher's new album is going to get some very mixed reviews! Why?... because of the high expectation that comes with any Usher Raymond release. People are expecting to hear a world class banging CD on first play, but that's exactly what you don't get with "Here I Stand".

Usher has grown up and as personal as his...
Published on 25 May 2008 by J. Rhodes

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Less Is More
Mr Raymond, I wanted to like your new album. I really, really did.

It's a fine voice you have there...no doubt about it...a very fine voice...

...and it's not as though you were short of a few good songs too.

...but then something went badly, badly wrong between the conception, writing
and final execution of this project...
Published on 30 May 2008 by The Wolf


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Think We've Got Something Special, 25 May 2008
By 
J. Rhodes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
Stop the press... we have a major problem here! Usher's new album is going to get some very mixed reviews! Why?... because of the high expectation that comes with any Usher Raymond release. People are expecting to hear a world class banging CD on first play, but that's exactly what you don't get with "Here I Stand".

Usher has grown up and as personal as his last release "Confessions" was, this album is reflective of where he is in his life here and now. Its a mirror of his current experiences, almost an open diary.

On first listen it does nearly disappoint, but then real gems like "Something Special", "Lifetime", "Love In The Club (Part 2)" and the title track "Here I Stand" all demand a second listen and its only then that the true appreciation for what is on offer finally kicks in.

Many reviewers unfortunately may make the mistake of throwing down their opinions after just one listen, but once fully comprehended, this album is the well produced, varied and sumptuous in flavour and beats R&B release that the genre has been crying out for. Well done Usher... more of the same please :o)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome after a listen or two, 23 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
I have to admit to being a huge usher fan, and admitly thought confessions was really good album but no 8701. First hearing this album I thought, some good tunes but the album as a whole is not what i expected. However, after 2 or three listens I feel in love with more or less every song, with ones standing out like "This Aint Sex", "Trading Places", "Whats Your Name", "Best Thing" and "Whats A Man To Do" along with "love in this club" ofcourse and the remix to go with it. That in my oppion is a fair few tracks . Overal Give it time and you will love the album, some great stuff to look foward to.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stand for nothing, fall for anything, 26 Nov 2008
By 
LT Twalo "Luzh" (Johannesburg, South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
Usher becomes the victim of his own success on this album. If Jaheim or Raheem DeVaughn or Dwele had released the exact same album, it would have been a classic, but not for Usher. Instead, he comes off as a former superstar, trendsetter who's gone soft. This, for me, is not a bad thing because I can relate to this Usher better having been married 2yrs ago myself.

Songs like "Appetite", "Before I Met You" & "Here I Stand" are real/relevant to me and they stand out as my favourites. The 1st single "Love In This Club" and its remix are also brilliant but unfortunately also misleading as they do not define what the rest of the album is about. Other tracks that play on the sex theme like "Trading Places" & "This Ain't Sex" fall flat.

Unfortunately for Usher is the fact since he's been gone the R&B scene has evolved. An evolution lead by the European sounds of StarGate & the Jodeci'esque sounds of Tricky & The Dream. Acts like Ne-Yo, J-Holiday, Chris Brown etc. have had a few years doing it so it does not sound fresh when Usher tries it on. "What's You Name" with Will.I.Am for example is excellent but it sounds like every other song on Ne-Yo's last album. Similarly, the power ballad and 2nd single "Moving Mountains" may be on class of its own lyrically but the overall package sounds generic.

Usher does redeem himself on the all too short intro and interlude tracks. These are beautiful tracks that really put his pipes on display, the extra slow "Love you Gently" is another beautiful addition. But I suppose people aren't ready to hear Usher on slow jams and that explains the reception that this album has had.

I applaud Usher for taking a stand on this album, even if the rest of the world may choose not to stand with him
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5.0 out of 5 stars MUCH BETTER THAN CONFESSIONS, 5 July 2008
By 
C. Cox "Rachel" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
Like i said in my title this album is so much better than confessions i thought apart from the singles he released from confessions there were only about 3 or 4 tracks i liked that were not singles. Anyway let's get into this album, it defo shows off a more grown up usher let not forget he is nearly 30
Foever young-It took me a while to get into this song but now i like it
Love in this club-Great club banger but part 2 is better
This ain't sex and Trading places are great uptempo songs love, love these two tracks.
Moving mountains- A lovely heartfelt ballad
What's your name- Still not sure about this one but a defeinite grower
Prayer 4 u-One word cute
Something special-Lovely song about love
Love you gently-A great song 4 the lovers
Best thing feat JAY-z- A brillant song love jay-z's raps
Before i met you- One of my favourites it is about him being a player until he met his wife
His mistakes- Written and co-produced by Ne-yo,lovely ballad another of my favourites
Appetite- good uptempo song
What's a man to do- This song is off the chain such a great song
Revolver- No this song is not about a gun, it is about resolving arguments
Lifetime-Lovely ballad about spending your life with that one special person
Love in this club part 2- Much better than the single feating beyonce's soulful vocals and lil wayne with a brillant rap
Here i stand and Will work 4 love, great songs with good beats
THIS ALBUM IS UP THERE WITH HIS SECOND ALBUM 8701 HE HAS GROWN SO MUCH DON'T LISTEN 2 DA NEGEATIVE REVIEWS. GET THIS NOW!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Consistent. Worth buying. Usher has grown., 3 Jun 2008
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
After a long wait from 2004's Confessions album, we have seen several contenders (if not emulators) of Usher such as Mario, Chris Brown and Ne-Yo. Trouble with these contenders is that you realise that they simply do not really come up to the veteran standard of Usher (particularly in the case of Chris Brown). However, Usher has used some of these newer kids in what they do best, such as The Dream, The Clutch and Ne-Yo for lyrics and production.

Here I Stand is not Confessions. Expectations would be very high for this album following the tremendous success of Confessions. It is a very different kind of album partly because Usher is not the same kind of guy and also due to following trends with music and new producers. Like Confessions, there are few true club bangers on this album. Really "Love in this Club" is the only real club banger. However, the album is full of very good tracks combining well done production and lyrics. Usher's voice has matured greatly, I suspect as a result of his time on the theatre in Chicago.
Again like many Usher and R&B albums, its main problem is that it is simply too long and that it could easily prune off 4 tracks to remove 12 minutes from the album. A good 45-60 minute album is hard to find these days, possibly in an age to encourage people to buy the album as more tracks are foolishly equated to value for money.

I strongly recommend downloading this album by track and being selective. Here are my suggestions for best tracks: Love in this Club, This Ain't Sex, Trading Places, Moving Mountains (poor video btw Usher), Appetite (Danja production), Love in this Club Part II (although the ubiquitous Lil Wayne once again contributes little-to-nothing meaningful on this track), Before I Met You, What's A Man To Do, Love You Gently and Here I Stand. That would make for a strong 10 track album which would have probably given this 4.5 stars for me.

This album is more grown. Usher is not trying to seduce every woman in the club but, rather, woe, lament and nurture the woman at home. I think Usher is considered the urban/black answer to Justin Timberlake. I am sure that the Usher camp was aware of this and went for the gap in the radio at the moment with this album which not Timberland/T-Pain - thank God too for the variety has produced some very good work. Buy the album by track and you won't be disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Usher is all grown up, 22 July 2008
By 
Ricky Carroll "music_man" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
This reviews of this album have been very divided. However i do believe its an exellent album. I tried to forget that confessions existed so i could listen to this album with an open mind. The album contains writing from ne yo, raheem devaughn and the dream, This is noticed on the opening track Forever young which sets the tone for the album in terms of its maturity.

Stand out tracks include love in this club which everyone has heard by now. its a perfect first single with a banging beat from polow da don. Another track which caught my ear was this aint sex...its got a micheal jackson feel to it, but usher makes it his own. Moving mountains the second single is a beautiful ballad produced by the hitmaker tricky stewart its a definate smash.

Whats your name is a possible future club joint and future single. something special is one of my fav tracks produced by jermaine dupri this is a clear ode to his wife. its well sung and produced with a perfect beat which suits the lyrics and tone of ushers voice perfectly.

However my fav track is best thing feat jayz where they both talk about there luck in love and there careers its a greatrnb hip hop tune which jay z lights up with his verse.

Revolver and lifetime are too skipable tracks but there ok. Overall its a diferent usher but confirms his status as the king of rnb!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intellegent art vs pap, 1 Nov 2008
By 
B23 "B23" (Reading, London UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
This album consists mainly of slow tracks but not all are typical ballads. Some are soulful reflections on life and relationships. The music itself is a mix of neo classical soul and modern R n B. This combination may lead to audiences responding to the familiarity of the modern beat and then eschewing the other creative material.

Basically your ability to appreciate this music depends on your ablity to appreciate talent in song writing, vocal delivery and the arrangement of strong vocals with the right accompaniment. If you can appreciate these, this album wil inspire you and will call you back time and again, even in 5 or ten years. If you like to feel a beat and you 'know what you like' - and that is modern mass produced R n B - you may well be disappointed.

My assessment is that Usher has made an album that is interesting. If you read novels, it is like a combination of good character development and superb plot. If you watch films it is like fantastic dialogue, great character development and wonderful locations. If these references to the content of other art forms bewilder you, you probably will rate this album poorly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Usher Raymond and More...., 5 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
Being a sincere fan of Usher and a true critic of music itself, i really have to say that this man has matured so much since his last release "Confessions" about four years ago.

Yes, you will hear both positive and negative feedbacks on this album because he's changed his style and you wouldn't find tunes similar to "Yeah", "You Got it Bad", etc, but you'll definitely find something much more deeper.

Songs like "Moving Mountains" which in my opinion is probably the best track of the year and deserves a special mention lyrically, vocally and even the video is so different and deep. Tunes like This ain't Sex, Love in this Club 1&2 stands out without a question and i firmly believe that this probably is one of the best albums i've heard in a while.

Listen to it more than once and you'll soon know what i mean... it's not just usher for you, but he's given you something better and something out of the box of what anyone would expect from him...

A Must Buy!!!!!!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Less Is More, 30 May 2008
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
Mr Raymond, I wanted to like your new album. I really, really did.

It's a fine voice you have there...no doubt about it...a very fine voice...

...and it's not as though you were short of a few good songs too.

...but then something went badly, badly wrong between the conception, writing
and final execution of this project.

'Here I Stand' is probably one of the most cluttered, overproduced projects
you are likely to hear this year.

Everything and the kitchen sink is thrown into the mix. Simple, effective
and perfectly decent musical ideas are completely swamped and overwhelmed
by heavy handed production values.

'Forever Young' is a real stinker of an opener. Film-score schmaltz.

'Love In This Club' could've been a winner had the crass synthesiser and vocal
arrangement not obliterated an otherwise great central performance.

'This Ain't Sex' does the business. A good example of how less really can be more.

Likewise 'Something Special' another economical arrangement.

'Love You Gently' is a gentle love song completely destroyed by some of the worst
electric piano intrusions imaginable.

'Love In This Club Part II' is a crass celebrity friend makeweight not saved by La Beyonce's
pedestrian contribution.
Lil Wayne's raperlude is, however, intriguingly creepy.

'Here I Stand' another standout track . Mr Wonder smiling from the wings perhaps.

Closing track 'Will Work For Love' is probably the albums true low point.
Banal, trite and insincere beyond belief.

Sorry Mr Raymond. I sort of believe in you...but on this showing I really struggled.

Next time keep it simple. Less really can be more.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I actually like this album!, 6 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: Here I Stand (Audio CD)
It seems a lot of people are disappointed with Usher's new album release - I think the problem is that his fans are still wanting songs like 'U-Turn' or 'You remind me'. Unfortunately, people do grow up and mature, not just with age but also with their music. Songs on 'Here I Stand' shouldn't be seen as bad just because they are not fast or pop-ish...Usher is an RnB singer and there is plenty or RnB ballads on this spectacular album. Hits on this new album (in my view) are: Love in this Club, Trading places, Moving Mountains [such emotional lyrics!], Something special, Love you gently, Before I met you, His mistakes, What's a man to do, Love in this Club [part2] and Will work for love. So all in all, there are only 7 out of 17 songs that I'm not keen on, that's 10 possible #1 hits...don't give up after one listen of this brilliant masterpiece! It WILL grow on you, I recommend it so don't listen to the boring farts on here claiming that Usher isn't what he used to be because to me...he's 100 times better!

:-)
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