8701

Riding the No. 1 crossover popularity of engaging lead single "U Remind Me," Usher returns with his third studio set.

Riding the No. 1 crossover popularity of engaging lead single "U Remind Me," Usher returns with his third studio set. Originally slated for release earlier this year (when it was titled All About U), 8701 finally arrives—and it proves to be well worth the wait. The album finds co-writer Usher collaborating with such production heavies as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Babyface, Jermaine Dupri, the Neptunes, and Mike City. The end result? A disc that flows with soulful vocals showcased in clean, back-to-the-real production settings. Notable tracks include "How Do I Say," "Twork It Out" (which includes a nod to Marvin Gaye), and the dancey "U-Turn." But it's a more adult Usher who's guaranteed to turn heads on such ballads as "U Got It Bad," one of seven songs retained from the All About U sessions.—GM