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|Reflections and Expressions about Confessions
Posted: Wednesday July 12, 2006
I think I may be one of those rare people whose music and entertainment choices are vastly affected by the attitude and conduct of the artist.
For example, I’m not a L.A. Laker fan…
Individually, some of the players think it’s OKAY to be unfaithful to their spouses. But then again….that’s probably not the case because sometimes when you are unfaithful, the infidelity comes back to bite you in the ass and you end up being accused of rape.
Which leads me to the next example:
Usually, when someone wants to confess, most people go to church or a police station. In Usher’s case, he made an album to air his dirty laundry, but in interview after interview the loads are different. In an article for Sky News, Usher said of his relationship as it relates to his new album, “I don’t know where it starts and stops. I actually did go through it the way I talked about it.” In another article, Usher is quoted, “Although with this album I was able to be a lot more honest, it’s still creative. I am a creative artist who is able to pull from a lot of people around me. It [the song “Confessions”] is a story that I have not went through firsthand, but have experienced. We all have issues with infidelity.”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought a confession was supposed to be about the truth. Perhaps he’s saving it for the tour, which ironically is called “The Truth.”
So maybe on tour he’ll have his story straight. But Usher isn’t the only one saying the album isn’t about his past relationship. His ex-girlfriend Rozonda Thomas a.k.a. Chilli from TLC, said in a radio interview that Confessions is not about their relationship. However, Usher did what she described as “the ultimate no-no,” and as a result, she never wants to see him again…(It’s interesting how an artist’s work can sometimes imitate life)... Whatever the story may be, perhaps the album needed another title, maybe “Impressions,” because of it’s varying points of view.
Apples and Oranges…
With the release of a new project, Usher seems to have gotten a little too big for his britches. The old Usher had an aura of gratitude and humility; he seemed likeable as a person and as a result I proudly own two of his earlier albums.
The present-day Usher comes off conceited and cocky—making me want to keep my $17.99, not that he’d miss it mind you…
During interviews around the release of “Confessions”, Usher decided to blast Justin Timberlake, saying he doesn’t have the originality to take away his crown as the “King of R&B.;”
I’m sorry, after Whitney crowned Bobby Brown the King of R&B;, I thought Bobby was the reigning royal. I didn’t realize the title changed hands and Usher was the new king. Is this a self-professed title? Are we crowning ourselves now? If we are, then I shall now be known as the “Queen of Condescension” until my title is surrendered or taken.
In another interview he said, “He [Justin] has to find his own style and his own swagger–he’s not on Usher’s level. There can only be one Usher and I’m sitting right here. A lot of people compare me to Justin and I don’t understand why. I was making R&B; classics when he was singing bubble-gum pop and I had plenty of successful albums. I did the movies, and now he’s trying to do movies. I’ve been in the game for 10 years now. The way I feel is, everybody wants to be Usher, everybody wants to be Janet [Jackson]–the problem is, we can’t be duplicated.” Am I the only person on the planet that sees the inner jerk-ass rearing its ugly puffed-up head? Both Justin and Usher have been “in the game” for about the same amount of time. Both Justin and Usher, for those of us who remember, made their national debuts on Star Search. Usher’s earliest known acting credit is on Moesha from 1997 to 1998. Justin was both acting and singing on the Mickey Mouse Club in 1993 and 1994. As far as successful albums go, to say someone has plenty of them, plenty would have to equal about six. To Usher’s credit, his self-titled debut album came out in 1994.
But since there aren’t that many people who know about it, it can’t count. Successful releases would be ‘My Way’, ‘Usher Live’, ‘8701’, and ‘Confessions’, bringing Usher’s total to four, and because I’m in such a good mood, I’ll even count the debut album since the people who actually own it–love it, and bring Usher’s total to five.
Justin has at least six albums that I know of with *Nsync: three highly popular in the U.S. and internationally, one released in Germany, one Christmas album, and one holiday album overseas. Oh yeah, and his solo effort would bring Justin’s total to seven.
Moving on . . . If we want to go there about dance style, it’s clear that both artists watched a lot of Michael Jackson videos and old James Brown tapes growing up. Before a person, who is clearly influenced by other artists in the way he sings and dances, uses the word “originality” in a negative context to describe someone else, he might want to check himself to see how much of his “swagger” is truly his own.
The Bottom Line…
Critics and consumers alike are raving about Usher’s latest release. Musically speaking, I have to give props where they’re due and admit that it is a damn-good CD. Confessions is full of powerful R&B; ballads, dance tracks and “man-speak” from an artist that’s somewhat full of himself; which might explain why so many of my male acquaintances love the CD so much and if you enjoy that sort of thing, then I suggest you go out and buy it immediately.
As for me and my royal play list, it remains an “Usher-free Zone” (last two albums not included). There’s just something annoying about artists that tear down other artists in an effort to make themselves look better. If we must have a king of R&B;, it would be nice if in both attitude and ability, he deserved to wear the crown.