Here I Stand

Here I Stand

4.0 16
by Usher
     
 

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After the release of 2004's Confessions, an album that transformed Usher from an R&B star into a pop superstar, the singer became a husband and father. That grants Here I Stand more lyrical depth than the four previous Usher albums, but we're not talking fathoms. There's a two-minute lullaby for his son, and the noticeably

Overview

After the release of 2004's Confessions, an album that transformed Usher from an R&B star into a pop superstar, the singer became a husband and father. That grants Here I Stand more lyrical depth than the four previous Usher albums, but we're not talking fathoms. There's a two-minute lullaby for his son, and the noticeably increased talk of settling down and turning in his player card ("My search ends here," "This time love won't let me leave") now holds more weight since he has actually done it through the eyes of the law; he certainly never would have thought to use "Your mama and my mama want some grandbabies tonight" at any earlier point in his life. More seriously, and less noxiously, the changes in his life are most evident throughout "Before I Met You," a song that is more direct, sincere, and ultimately believable than "Confessions, Pt. 2.": "You got my life together and I thank you forever." Otherwise, Here I Stand is almost exactly the kind of release you'd expect a 29-year-old Usher to deliver in 2008, and while it is seriously doubtful the album will move more copies than the nearly diamond platinum Confessions, there is plenty to like about it. Beyond some tepid material that can only be expected with a 74-minute album, its biggest weakness is in what it does not contain, like the leaked "Play Me" and the briefly charting "Dat Girl Right There," both of which would have been major highlights. Perhaps these songs would have tipped the scale too far in favor of Usher's wild bachelor past, covered effectively enough through "Love in This Club" (present in its bleary original and sugary sequel forms), the thoroughly synth-lasered "What's Your Name" (the closest in make-up to "Yeah!," if not nearly as revelrous), and the dramatic whirlwind "Appetite" (a Danja-produced Clutch collaboration, the best narrative R. Kelly did not write). Out of the small handful of brow-raising moments, "Trading Places" takes the cake. Put together with Tricky Stewart and the-Dream, it's nearly surreal, with Usher putting equal fervor into several visions of role reversals, whether they are romantic ("You get on top/Tonight I'm on the bottom") or menial ("Wash the car/I'm gonna walk the dog"). Questionable omissions and a little oddness aside, the album leaves no doubt that the R&B male crown (30 and under division) should not change hands.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Jon Pareles
The album seesaws between Usher’s old ladies’-man instincts and his current commitment... but tension, not bliss, creates the album’s best songs.
Entertainment Weekly - Margeaux Watson
An autobiographical mix of old-school-meets-new-school R&B ballads, midtempo grooves, and upbeat dance songs that find Usher letting down his guard and truly exposing his vulnerability.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
Label:
La Face
UPC:
0886972338828
catalogNumber:
723388

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Usher   Primary Artist
Ambassadors   Keyboards
Assa Drori   Violin
Brent Fischer   Conductor
Kazi Pitelka   Viola
Manuel Seal   Guitar
Harry Shirinian   Viola
Jay-Z   Guest Appearance
Craig Love   Guitar
Karl Heilbron   Guitar
Espen Lind   Guitar
will.i.am   Synthesizer,fender rhodes,Guest Appearance
Jamar Jones   Musician
Lil Wayne   Guest Appearance
Vahe Hayrikyan   Cello
Adam Blackstone   Musician
Ray Holton   Guitar
Young Jeezy   Guest Appearance
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Piano (Grand)
B.M.C.   Bass,Strings,Drums,Keyboards
Derrick "Young World" McAlister   Keyboards
S.O.S. Horn Players   Horn
Donald Ferrone   Double Bass

Technical Credits

Chris Hicks   Author,Management
Danny D   Management
Jermaine Dupri   Producer
Clare Fischer   String Arrangements
Brent Fischer   String Arrangements
Armen Garabedian   Principal
Ryan Greene   Engineer
Benny Medina   Author,Management
Tim Roberts   Pro-Tools
Manuel Seal   Producer
Pat Thrall   Engineer
Corey Williams   Engineer
Jazze Pha   Producer
Kuk Harrell   Producer,Engineer,Vocal Producer
Craig Love   Producer
Mark Pitts   Executive Producer,Author
Karl Heilbron   Engineer
Christopher "Tricky" Stewart   Producer
Brian Springer   Engineer
Usher Raymond   Executive Producer
Andre Harris   Producer,Instrumentation
will.i.am   Producer,Engineer,drum programming
John Horesco   Engineer
Johnta Austin   Vocal Producer
Vidal Davis   Producer,Instrumentation
Dave Hyman   Engineer
Bryan-Michael Cox   Arranger,Producer
Tor Erik Hermanson   Instrumentation
Vincent Dilorenzo   Engineer
G. Preston Boebel   Engineer
Padraic Kerin   Engineer
Sam Thomas   Engineer
James Lackey   Producer
J.R. Rotem   Arranger,Producer,Instrumentation
Alec Newell   Engineer
Ne-Yo   Producer
Greg Ogan   Engineer
Mikkel Storleer Eriksen   Composer,Engineer,Instrumentation
Tony Terrebonne   Engineer
B.M.C.   Programming
Tim Blacksmith   Management
L.O.S. DaMaestro   Producer
Scott Naughton   Engineer
Lyah Beth LeFlore   Liner Notes
Polow da Don   Producer
Brian Stanley   Engineer

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Here I Stand 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little nervous at first because I have been an Usher fan for years. But after everything that happened(marriage and children) I have been disappointed on how he treated his fans. But nevertheless I will always remain true to his music. This is an excellent album. You can see the growth in him. I like that the producers and writers are The-Dream and Johnta Austin. My favorites are Moving Mountains, Prayer for You, Love You Gently, Before I Met You, His Mistakes, Appetite, What's a Man To Do, Lifetime, and Here I Stand,
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I listen to the songs on this compact disc, I think to myself the man has grown dramatically over his five year hiatus and the growth shows in a way that it leaves a different feel than what most are use to when they think of Usher. When I first started listening I wanted to solely pay attention to it for the sheer enjoyment but after going, back to listen to it for the second time I found that I enjoyed his Prayer for You "Interlude", Something Special, and Best Thing the most. Truthfully, it was expected from me for him to put his son on the piece somewhere as well as when you listen to "Something Special" you could tell he was showing love to his wife, which I thought, was unique. With him teaming up with Jay-Z on Best Thing, I think the beat caught my attention but the song was one of the songs that had a nice musical background to it. To say that he opened up with his hit Love in This Club I can defiantly say he's back and he's going to give his fan what he always gives them a show to remember. As a fan of Usher's this is not my favorite compilation but it is an appreciated piece and I definitely look forward to the next complication and as always Mr. Raymond will always have my support.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album reminds me of the Usher we've come to love with 8701 and My way. He's going back to his roots with soft melodic ballads but not raunchiness that you heard in Confessions. This is Usher pop, not usher R&B-his vocal talents are still unmatchable!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didnt really like the album when i first got it,for the simple fact it was nothing like confessions. But when i really sat down and listen to the track and the way the album flow i really enjoyed it. You cn really see the growth of Usher and see that his life is changing in some way.
MRS.FIERCE More than 1 year ago
I am ushers # 1 FAN SINCE HE CAME OUT WITH HIS FIRST CD. If you like to be be cool calm and release from the stress and the tension this is the cd for you.
Jazzec5416 More than 1 year ago
I really like this album. You can hear the growth in all the songs. It may not be the old Usher, but he is a husband and father and you need to sound like one. I keep asking myself why do people say its not Confessions. Its not supposed to be Confessions. That's why you buy the album and keep it so you can always go back to that. Even though I feel like all these songs are dedicated to his wife, the songs are all great. I like all the songs but if I had to choose I would say Love You Gently, Appetite, and Lifetime.
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