Usher
Confessions


3.5
great

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
April 17th, 2007 | 36 replies | 20,322 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Confessions" is a great album, mainly supported by its singles but still noteworthy without them. If only it were 10 minutes shorter...

Contemporary R&B is not one of my strong points (not that much is, but I digress…). I usually turn off the radio if I hear Robin Thicke or any of those guys, as I just can’t stand to hear the same song over again. Sure, there’ll be a good tune once in a while, but for the most part the genre in the mainstream is stale. Sometimes a guy will come in (who is white) and seal up the genre with massive successes, and make it virtually impossible for anyone else to get any attention. Usher is one of those types of guys.

I, of course, was forced into listening to the album by a rather close female friend. Having to download “Burn” to put on a mix I was being forced to make for her, I decided to take a listen. What I found was a tightly produced, well performed song that had some of the best hooks I’ve heard since I last listened to Justin Timberlake so many months ago. The lyrical matter was pretty average (I mean, another break up song? No way!), but Usher had a way about singing it that gave it an added sense of emotion, that someone like Ne-Yo just couldn’t do.

So, I checked out all of Confessions, and what I found was an excellent collection of singles (and would be singles), surrounded by some decent filler material. Everyone’s heard “Yeah~” the giant club hit from the summer of ‘04. ‘lil Jon’s shining moment as a producer, “Yeah!” combines an infectious beat with one of the simplest hooks ever imagined (…yeah) with the genius of Ludacris to form a song only matched by “Hot in Herre” as a club hit.

In an intelligent move, it’s the only club banger on the album. Some tracks, like “Caught Up” and “Bad Girl” are still dance tunes, but are much less gritty and bring up fewer images of bad club lighting. The albums made up in majority of slower, confessional tunes. As evidenced by the albums title, its loose concept is one of a man confessing all the wrongs in his life. Doesn’t lend itself well to grinding, does it? In general, the slower tracks work, with tunes like “Confessions Pt 2” and particularly “Throwback” (arguably the best ballad on the album) being extremely soulful and well sung.

The album is certainly make or break on how much you enjoy Usher’s voice. He’s way ahead of his age, showing a great range (including a falsetto that isn’t as annoying as f*ck) that makes all the tracks on the album be at least slightly unique. The production is slick and strong throughout, but if you’re expecting something on the level of Timbaland, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However, with Usher normally making up for it by taking command of every song with his voice, it usually isn’t a problem.

What unfortunately is a problem is how weighted the album is in its first half. The first 7 tracks (which include all the singles) are pop brilliance, with not one moment being a letdown. The album keeps on going strong for a few more songs, but by albums end Usher starts to repeat ideas and vocal melodies to often. The constraints of the albums “concept” also limit any sort of variety he could have had lyrically, and those themes are also repeated far too often in the album. “Take Your Hand” ends up bringing something new to the table, but its too little too late, especially after the debacle that is “Do it to Me,” which is a piss-poor attempt at sexuality that utterly fails.

With “Do it to Me” being the only bad song on the album, however, Usher has certainly crafted something strong. Despite my complete lack of knowledge of the genre, or point in which to compare it to, Confessions blew me away for a good portion of its duration, and kept me entertained during the rest of it. The albums frequently criticized for its length, and I can’t help but agree; at an hour in length, Usher could have cut 15 minutes off the time and had a near flawless release. As it stands, Confessions is a truly good album, mainly supported by its singles but still noteworthy without them.

Recommended tracks
“Yeah!”
“Throwback”
“Burn”
“Caught Up”
“Take Your Hand”



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user ratings (140)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lacking detail because I felt it would be repetitious to state how awesome a moment like "you don't learn, let it burn" is over and over.

ToWhatEnd
April 17th 2007



3172 Comments


I certainly did my fair share of grinding to Yeah! back in the days of high school dances. Nice review, the phrase decent filler material makes me laugh for some reason but I know exactly what you mean.

The Sludge
April 17th 2007



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Not my cup, but enjoyed 8701 a bit. The best on the album was overplayed.

iarescientists
April 17th 2007



5863 Comments


These are my confessions:
Review sucks

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that is quite unfortunate.

iarescientists
April 17th 2007



5863 Comments


Okay, after reading the review, I have changed my mind. :thumb:

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't everyone comment this at once.

The Jungler
April 17th 2007



4827 Comments


Meh, the singles off this weren't that great, and I don't really like Usher's voice all that much. Needless to say, I won't be listening to this anytime soon.
Good review.

pulseczar
April 17th 2007



2385 Comments


I found the singles off of this to be disappointing. bootylicious review as always hun.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



17920 Comments


yeah! is one of the greatest emoviolence songs everThis Message Edited On 04.17.07

Abaddon2005
April 17th 2007



684 Comments


I can't believe this starts at 23.99.. is the cd made of gold, what the hell

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you had actually bothered to check out the link, you'd see it linked to a live Madonna cd, complete with dvd.
One of the many flaws inherent in sputnik atm.

Abaddon2005
April 17th 2007



684 Comments


After Opeth's Deliverance linked me to a duelling banjo cd i stopped clicking them I'm afraid.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well that at least is a positive change in album goodness.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2007



16081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

delete /ban.
I forgot to ask the Sludge what his favorite Usher song was, because I cant imagine anyone that big listening to Usher.

Intransit
April 18th 2007



2797 Comments


Good review etc I might check this out etc

MrKite
May 15th 2007



5020 Comments


Why aren't you listed on the staff page?
My sister was really into him. I don't know what happened.

The Sludge
May 22nd 2007



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I forgot to ask the Sludge what his favorite Usher song was, because I cant imagine anyone that big listening to Usher.

Well I listen to alot of this type of music from my friends. But I would choose "U Got It Bad", still has flavor to me. And interesting fat joke btw.

MeowMeow
June 3rd 2007



662 Comments


Yeah! is such an awesome song. I haven't heard anything else off this, though.

MasterSan
February 10th 2008



113 Comments


Am I the only person in the world who believes the expression "club banger" is irremediably retarded?

Hell, what does it even mean?This Message Edited On 02.10.08



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