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July 31 - 06, 2022
Year of Release: 2014
Confessions Part II
That's What It's Made For
Can U Handle It
Do It To Me
Take Your Hand
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The Complete WSVNRadio Album Archive
Usher's original album Confessions gets the nod this week for review, as his
Confessions (Special Edition) was selected as his debut here.
As for many original releases, more songs are released afterwards, and therefore, a "Special Edition" or most likely called "Deluxe,' a "new" release
of the original album is then released, with the "new" tracks. This was the case for Usher's Confessions, as five "new" tracks were added. One of them
was a remix - "Confessions Part II Remix," and another one, "My Boo" (with Alicia Keys) hit #1. Other #1's (from the original Confessions:
"Yeah!, "Burn," and ""Confessions Part II." The remaining "new" tracks: "Confessions," "Red Light," and "Seduction."
Among the #1 songs, his previous albums also reached the top spot: Confessions, Here I Stand, Raymond Vs. Raymond, Looking 4 Myself. His other
albums also had #1 songs - My Way, 8701 Also to mention, that ALL of the albums mentioned achieved #1 songs. His latest album was released in 2016 -
Hard II Love, yet none of the tracks from this particular album reached #1. Usher has always been a true and great R&B artist. His music has always
been soulful and romantic. (There should be more artists and his music like this.)
So, without further ado, here is the review from the Special Edition (04/11/2010), since it covers the ORIGINAL Confessions ...
Originally released in 2004, Confessions reached #1 on the albums chart for nine weeks. From it, two back-to-back #1 songs, "Yeah!" and
"Burn" and a third #1 track followed later in the year, "Confessions Part II." Then came (Special Edition), where the original
Confessions tracks appeared, along with 4 bonus songs. One bonus song, "My Boo," a duet with Alicia Keys would become the fourth #1 song from the
Usher is probably the best (or one of them) R&B/Soul singers currently today. Sure, he has Rap tracks under his belt (or his torso to some). Rap maybe
overated/underated, obviously obscene with its disctinctive lyrics. The rest of Rap is mostly not understandable, and unforgettable. The fast rap lyrics are
hard to interpret. I guess the fans of this music do understand the lyrics, as most of them are from the singers' personal experiences, mostly dealing with
domestic violence. Sex is the other take on rap lyrics, and can be just as "violent" as the term violence itself.
But Usher is different. He is highly respected. He was a mentor on this season of American Idol. Like many of the great Soul artists before him
(Barry White, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight), it is Usher's soulful ballads that makes him a true R&B/Soul superstar. "Burn" and "Confessions
Part II" are prime examples; even his previous #1 ballads ("Nice And Slow," "U Got It Bad"). Even the rap-styled "Yeah!" grows on you, you
can't help not to like it. Why? Because it's Usher. And even listening to the upbeat tempo songs from Confessions, at least we never hear (and hope we
never will) hear Usher screaming (that's another rap term for "singing"; just as we hear on some Hard Rock Alternative Bands).
Usher does get the groove going on the fast-paced tracks, "Caught Up" is one of these, where the beat is entertaining, and you can't help groove and
glide along with it. "Throwback" is another fast track, maybe not as good as "Caught Up," but, still, it's Usher, and he's not being vulgar.
"Superstar" has good potential too. It's not really fast-paced, and it's not really a ballad of either. It has a cool vibe, smooth, and.. it's Usher.
That cool vibe is also on "Truth Hurts." Not a fast track, not a ballad, but it's got cool. Bounce your head as it goes along... "Simple Things" --
oh yeah, this is true R&B/Soul, 21st Century.
"Bad Girl" could pass as Rock meets Hip Hop. Not Rap Hip Hop, maybe this kind of beat doesn't have an official genre name. Some think Rap is Hip Hop.
Hip Hop is Rap. Both. Still, it's Rhythm & Blues / Soul with a more uptempo'd beat. "That's What It's Made For" is another cool, smooth Usher ballad.
"Can U Handle It" is another cool ballad. "Do It To Me" -- another smooth, cool tune. "Take Your Hand" -- upbeat. Upscale. Soul. "Follow
Me" -- see "Take Your Hand."
The four bonus tracks for the Special Edition: "My Boo" hit #1, and like many other smooth, cool Usher ballads, this song is another enjoyable
tune, with the help from Alicia Keys. Smooth, calm, collective is "Red Light." Smooth, Sexy ... "Seduction." I was reading about the remix of
"Confessions Part II" and how it was identical to its original, with additional rap/hip hop artists helping out. I totally disagree. It's different, with
phone calls, spoken word rap. There's more actual singing in the original. And yes, the original is far better.
Some argue that a Special Edition is just another way of buying the original album with additional bonus tracks. This is true, especially in the case of the
#1 "My Boo." We don't know if a Special Edition will be released until far later after the original is released. Maybe it's based on sales, regular
airplay, and popularity of the artist/band. Having a Special Edition is fine, but I think what would make this better, is to include another disc or DVD with
videos. The Special Edition may add a few more bucks than the original, but with videos, maybe even a concert footage would be worth the price. Usher's
Confessions (Special Edition) is probably no different or even better than the original, but it's entertaining, and this is what today's R&B/Soul music
should sound like for every fan to enjoy of all races. The older folks (like myself) can relate to Usher's comparisons to the likes of Barry White, Luther Vandross,
Brian McKnight, and groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire. This IS Soul music, and this kind of Soul music is what's missing in today's Rap and Hip Hop cultures.
Confessions (Special Edition) is a very good entertaining CD. If you didn't get the original, it's probably best to get the Special Edition because
1) It has the original tracks, 2) It has 4 bonus tracks, 3) Four #1 songs, and most importantly... 4) It's USHER.
According to Usher's Wikipedia Discography, a future Confessions 2 album is in the works.
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