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Original Title: Here I Stand. Format: CD. Artist: Usher. Language: English. Genre: RandB. Track Listing: Disk 1. 1. Intro. 2. Love in This Club featuring Young Jeezy. 3. This Ain t Sex. 4. Trading Places. 5. Moving Mountains. 6. What s Your Name featuring will.i.am. 7. Prayer for You Interlude. 8. Something Special. 9. Love You Gently. 10. Best Thing featuring Jay Z. 11. Before I Met You. 12. His Mistakes. 13. Appetite. 14. What s A Man to Do. 15. Lifetime. 16. Love in This Club Part II featuring Beyonce and Lil Wayne. 17. Here I Stand.
Following the nine-times platinum CONFESSIONS, Usher had a tall order to fulfill with 2008's HERE I STAND. To his credit, the R&B sensation didn't merely replicate CONFESSIONS, but instead moved into new thematic territory while still remaining true to his now-patented silky-smooth urban contemporary sound. Lyrically, HERE I STAND reflects Usher's commitments as a husband and father, with songs like "Before I Met You" and "Lifetime" replacing the wild narratives of his bachelor days. R&B's premiere player seems to have grown up.
But even given Usher's maturity on this set, there's plenty to please the legions of fans used to his sensual, stylish music. Opener "Love in This Club" is a soaring, thumping anthem featuring a spot by Young Jeezy, while "Part II" boasts appearances by Beyonce and Lil Wayne. "Best Thing," featuring Jay Z, blends hip-hop with Usher's sweet soul. But the album's real highlights--moments like "Trading Places" and the old-school-sounding "Something Special"-- feature Usher's sexy, elastic voice unleashed to full effect, reminding listeners that just because Usher is settling down doesn't mean that he's getting stale.
Entertainment Weekly (p.120) - "[A] good portion of STAND's tunes deserve a place in the dance-floor pantheon..." -- Grade: B
Blender (Magazine) (p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The production is cocktail-lounge crunk, full of splashy cymbals, jazzy electric guitar and tinkly pianos."
UsherBeyond the 35 million albums he's sold worldwide since the release of his 1993 self-titled debut, the five Grammy Awards, NAACP Image Awards, the countless other accolades (from Billboard, MTV, Soul Train, BET, People's Choice, Vibe and ASCAP), box office records for his worldwide tours and on Broadway (during his 2006 performances as Billy Flynn in the hit musical Chicago), the cumulative 100 million dollar grosses for the films in which he's starred and his recognition as a bona fide global superstar (with gold and platinum albums in over fifteen countries), Usher Raymond has achieved what few other contemporary entertainers have ever accomplished: still under thirty years of age, he has created a network of thriving, successful enterprises that express his leadership in business and as a humanitarian. "It's been quite a journey," he says of the last three years since the release of his mega-platinum Confessions album. "I've been transforming my first passion -- music -- into the areas of business and community contribution and I'm committed to be successful in all that I put time and effort into..."From his all-important New Look Foundation (whose multi-faceted programs focus on empowering and motivating youth) to his own record label (US Records, a joint venture with Clive Davis' J Records), the creation of his own fragrances for men and women, his part-ownership of the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and involvement with a chain of Atlanta restaurants (known as The Grape), Usher's skills as a forward-thinking young entrepreneur reflect the same approach he has taken as an entertainer: for the Tennessee-born, Atlanta-raised performer, songwriter and producer, working on a sixth album for release in late 2007, it's about longevity and staying power.
Love In This Club - (featuring Young Jeezy)
This Ain't Sex
What's Your Name - (featuring Will.i.am)
Prayer For You (Interlude)
Love You Gently
Best Thing - (featuring Jay-Z)
Before I Met You
What's A Man To Do
Love In This Club Part II - (featuring Lil Wayne/Beyonc?)