||From the Vault...
"Confessions (Special Edition)"
© LaFce Records
Year of Release: 1985
Confessions Part II
That's What It's Made For
Can U Handle It
Do It To Me
Take Your Hand
Confessions Part II Remix
Usher related sites:
"Confessions (Special Edition)"
con·fes·sion 1. acknowlegement; a vowel: admission.
2. acknowlegement or disclosure of sin, to obtain absolution.
3. something that is confessed.
4. a formal, usu written acknowledgement of guilt by a person accused of a crime
5. Also called a judgement of guilt by a person accused of a crime.
CONFESSION No. 1: "Sometimes you have to go through something to get to something."
CONFESSION No. 2: "You're not a failure until you start blaming everyone else around you."
CONFESSION No. 3: "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't make them all yourself."
CONFESSION No. 4: "Anger is only one letter short of danger."
CONFESSION No. 5: "If there were no bumps in life, there would be nothing to get over."
CONFESSION No. 6: "I am not perfect."
CONFESSION No. 7: "Whatever you do in the darkness will eventually come to light."
Think about all those "Confessions." They all make sense.
This is perfect timing... Usher marks his debut on WSVNRadio.net, and it just so happens, that his current
album, Raymond Vs. Raymond is this week's #1 Album on the Billboard Albums chart. Originally
released in 2004, Confessions reached #1 on the albums chart for nine weeks. From it, two back-to-back #1
songs, "Yeah!" and "Burn" and a third #1 track followed later in the year, "Confessions Part II."
Then came (Special Edition), where the original Confessions tracks appeared, along with 4 bonus songs.
One bonus song, "My Boo," a duet with Alicia Keys would become the fourth #1 song from the Confessions
Usher is probably the best (or one of them) R&B/Soul singers currently today. Sure, he has Rap tracks under
his belt (or his torso to some). Rap maybe overated/underated, obviously obscene with its disctinctive lyrics.
The rest of Rap is mostly not understandable, and unforgettable. The fast rap lyrics are hard to interpret.
I guess the fans of this music do understand the lyrics, as most of them are from the singers' personal experiences,
mostly dealing with domestic violence. Sex is the other take on rap lyrics, and can be just as "violent" as
the term violence itself.
But Usher is different. He is highly respected. He was a mentor on this season of American Idol.
Like many of the great Soul artists before him (Barry White, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight), it is Usher's
soulful ballads that makes him a true R&B/Soul superstar. "Burn" and "Confessions Part II" are
prime examples; even his previous #1 ballads ("Nice And Slow," "U Got It Bad"). Even the rap-styled
"Yeah!" grows on you, you can't help not to like it. Why? Because it's Usher. And even listening to
the upbeat tempo songs from Confessions, at least we never hear (and hope we never will) hear Usher
screaming (that's another rap term for "singing"; just as we hear on some Hard Rock Alternative Bands).
Usher does get the groove going on the fast-paced tracks, "Caught Up" is one of these, where the beat
is entertaining, and you can't help groove and glide along with it. "Throwback" is another fast track,
maybe not as good as "Caught Up," but, still, it's Usher, and he's not being vulgar. "Superstar"
has good potential too. It's not really fast-paced, and it's not really a ballad of either. It has a cool vibe,
smooth, and.. it's Usher. That cool vibe is also on "Truth Hurts." Not a fast track, not a ballad,
but it's got cool. Bounce your head as it goes along... "Simple Things" -- oh yeah, this is true R&B/Soul,
"Bad Girl" could pass as Rock meets Hip Hop. Not Rap Hip Hop, maybe this kind of beat doesn't have an
official genre name. Some think Rap is Hip Hop. Hip Hop is Rap. Both. Still, it's Rhythm & Blues / Soul with
a more uptempo'd beat. "That's What It's Made For" is another cool, smooth Usher ballad. "Can U Handle
It" is another cool ballad. "Do It To Me" -- another smooth, cool tune. "Take Your Hand" --
upbeat. Upscale. Soul. "Follow Me" -- see "Take Your Hand."
The four bonus tracks for the Special Edition: "My Boo" hit #1, and like many other smooth,
cool Usher ballads, this song is another enjoyable tune, with the help from Alicia Keys. Smooth, calm, collective
is "Red Light." Smooth, Sexy ... "Seduction." I was reading about the remix of "Confessions Part
II" and how it was identical to its original, with additional rap/hip hop artists helping out. I totally
disagree. It's different, with phone calls, spoken word rap. There's more actual singing in the original. And yes,
the original is far better.
Some argue that a Special Edition is just another way of buying the original album with additional bonus tracks.
This is true, especially in the case of the #1 "My Boo." We don't know if a Special Edition will be released
until far later after the original is released. Maybe it's based on sales, regular airplay, and popularity of the
artist/band. Having a Special Edition is fine, but I think what would make this better, is to include another disc
or DVD with videos. The Special Edition may add a few more bucks than the original, but with videos, maybe even
a concert footage would be worth the price. Usher's Confessions (Special Edition) is probably no different
or even better than the original, but it's entertaining, and this is what today's R&B/Soul music should sound like
for every fan to enjoy of all races. The older folks (like myself) can relate to Usher's comparisons to the likes
of Barry White, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight, and groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire. This IS Soul music,
and this kind of Soul music is what's missing in today's Rap and Hip Hop cultures.
Confessions (Special Edition) is a very good entertaining CD. If you didn't get the original, it's
probably best to get the Special Edition because 1) It has the original tracks, 2) It has 4 bonus tracks, 3) Four #1
songs, and most importantly... 4) It's USHER.
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