After telling all on his juicy 2004 disc "Confessions," Usher is all about settling down on "Here I Stand," due this week via Jive. Here, the new husband and father embraces his maturation on cuts lik
After telling all on his juicy 2004 disc "Confessions," Usher is all about settling down on "Here I Stand," due this week via Jive. Here, the new husband and father embraces his maturation on cuts like the Dre and Vidal-crafted title track. "You ain't a man until you a man to your woman," he says. "This is the conversation that takes place."
Alongside ballads "Moving Mountains" and "Love You Gently" ("the ultimate love-making record") are tracks on the lighter side. The Will.i.am-crafted "What's Your Name?" describes "the feeling you get when you run into a woman that makes you speak gibberish," while the Bryan-Michael Cox creation "Before I Met You" revolves around "a modern-day gigolo [who] decides to change."
Since the release of "Confessions," the music business has taken a big hit. Though file-sharing is largely blamed for the downturn, Usher also cites a lack of quality material. "This industry is not producing an awful lot of substance-filled records," he says. "You'll get a Justin, a Kanye West, a Jay-Z that'll come out with a banging album, or a Chris Brown, but every so often you need to have a big monster like Alicia Keys or somebody like that. So [Jive] was like, 'We got to get you back in.' And I wanted to."
Amid all the business and non-music distractions of the past two years, Usher kept creating new material in his home studio in Atlanta. Early last year, he reconnected with longtime collaborator Jermaine Dupri, who co-produced several "Confessions" tracks, including "Burn" and "Confessions Part II." "The most important part to me is to make sure that I'm always creating something new, giving you a new sound," Usher says. "That's why I work with Jermaine Dupri before I work with anybody else. And I put emphasis on making sure that this album was more musical than anything, because I wanted it to step outside the norm."