Review: Usher – Here I Stand
Usher’s latest album strikes an odd chord with me. Here I Stand is supposed to be about growing up, but all Usher seems to sing about, on this album, is lusting after women (“Love In This Club”, “What’s A Man To Do”), being monogamous (“Before I Met You”), having a child (“Prayer For You”) , and making more of them (“Trading Places”, “Love You Gently”). It isn’t like I’m asking Usher to sing about being more responsible or taking better care of himself, but he doesn’t appear more mature on this record; just older.
Here I Stand is nothing more than a mildly entertaining collective of R&B fluff. It’s what we’ve come to expect from Usher over the years; only, it’s weaker than it’s been in the past. Even the stronger tracks on the album (“Trading Places”, “Love In This Club”) can’t compete with the standout tracks from his last couple of releases.
Not that Usher was ever one for having personality in his recordings, but this album is void of the kind of attitude and delivery that made songs like “Burn” and “U Don’t Have To Call” work. He just doesn’t seem all there.
“Moving Mountains” tries its hardest to pull some tears, but in the end, it’s just dull. Some tracks ease up on the boring (“What’s Your Name”, “Best Thing”), but they just bring the emptiness of this record to attention. His voice is nice, but it never really seems to connect with what’s going on around it.
Here I Stand isn’t a failure, but it’s definitely disappointing.
KEEPERS: “Love In This Club”, “Trading Places”, “What’s Your Name”, “Something Special”, “Best Thing”, “Before I Met You”, “Appetite”, “What’s A Man To Do”