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R&B - Released May 23, 2008 | LaFace Records

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R&B - Released September 16, 1997 | Arista - LaFace Records

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"A"

R&B - Released October 12, 2018 | Brand Usher - RCA Records

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R&B - Released August 23, 2010 | LaFace Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 11, 2001 | Arista

R&B mack daddy Usher puts a lot of himself into 8701; that's apparent even from the title itself, which represents the year Usher began exploring the world of music ('87) and the place where music brought him by the time of this recording ('01). He starts thing out in grand style with the romantic "U Remind Me." "I Don't Know" takes a hip-hop turn with a contribution from P. Diddy (that's Puff Daddy for those of you arriving late), but Usher is quick to point out that he's strictly about partying and loving, not about thug life. While there are some amped-up, percolating tunes that make good use of Usher's high energy ("I Can't Let U Go"), he really hits his stride when he falls into the familiar position of heartthrob/crooner. His sensual cooing, breathy tone, and smooth-as-silk delivery on the likes of "Can U Help Me" (Usher seems to have graduated from the Prince school of song titles) and "How Do I Say" play to this charmer's strengths and are sure to keep the sizable female quotient of his audience sufficiently entranced.
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R&B - Released September 16, 2016 | RCA Records Label

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Looking 4 Myself became the fourth consecutive Usher album to top the Billboard 200 chart. Its follow-up, Hard II Love, arrived four years later -- by a matter of weeks, the singer's longest between-albums period to that point. The space was filled with several non-album singles, including the ribald Pop & Oak collaboration "Good Kisser" and meet-ups with Nicki Minaj and Juicy J, the latter of which, "I Don't Mind," went multi-platinum. There was a lot of activity outside the vocal booth: a coaching stint on The Voice, the UR Experience Tour, and the filming of the Roberto Durán biopic Hands of Stone, in which Usher portrayed Sugar Ray Leonard. "Champions," Usher and Rubén Blades' contribution to that movie's soundtrack, concludes Hard II Love and predictably sounds like a stray bonus cut. Any of those 2014-2015 singles would be more suited here. While there are instances in which Usher pushes himself vocally -- most so on the slightly church-ified arena pop belter "Stronger" and falsetto pleader "Tell Me" -- he proceeds with his tried-and-true formula, switching between street cuts, slow jams, and relatively pop-flavored material. He still wants to be called a mack, confides he's "still stuck in his ways," and demands, as usual, forgiveness for transgressions. Almost every track has a distinct set of producers and co-writers, and not one of them factored in the previous album. Usher reunites with the imaginative as ever Pop & Oak for "Missin U," a winding and alluring track full of switch-ups that involves a brilliantly placed usage of Steely Dan's "Third World Man." The aching/boasting "Bump," made with Tricky Stewart and the-Dream, would be another airwaves standout with shades of the Art of Noise's "Moments in Love" and the animated voices of Luke and Lil Jon in the background. For most of the selections, Usher connects with a lot of relative newcomers who either started or broke through after 2012. "Make U a Believer," produced by Metro Boomin, is surprisingly uneventful, while the Ready for the World-sampling PartyNextDoor production "Let Me" is a slinking highlight. Nothing here is destined for pop ubiquity, and nothing dazzles quite as much as past hits like "Climax," but this is the most pleasing Usher album in over a decade. In terms of ability, agility, and creativity, Usher's vocals still crush the commercial competition. ~ Andy Kellman
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Pop - Released November 21, 2014 | RCA Records Label

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R&B - Released March 22, 2004 | LaFace Records

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R&B - Released June 8, 2012 | RCA Records Label

Usher was pushing his "revolutionary pop" concept as early as 2010, when he told StyleList, "I love that people are talking about the new hair, it represents who I am now and the creative movement of revolutionary pop." Prior to the release of his seventh studio album, he was doing it more than ever, quite likely encouraged by a Top Five Hot 100 collaboration with mainstream dance kingpin David Guetta ("Without You"). With rare exception, revolutionary pop as presented on Looking 4 Myself sounds just like contemporary pop-oriented R&B, or European dance-pop, or some combination of the two. Compared to Usher's previous album, this is weighted more heavily toward dance-pop, much of which is functional and well made but unremarkable. The set is front-loaded with two such numbers. "Can't Stop Won't Stop," a typically savvy production from will.i.am and partner Keith Harris, incorporates flashes of commercial dubstep and a synthesized version of that escalating wordless melody from Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." The Max Martin/Shellback-produced "Scream," a Top 20 hit by the time the album was released, is a pummeling dancefloor track with a mindless seduction theme. Next is the stellar Diplo collaboration "Climax," a bittersweet, 100% modern ballad that creates tension with space. It's more moving than what precedes and follows, but there are other highlights and a couple pleasantly surprising twists. "Lemme See," featuring Rick Ross, is a slithering, low-slung jam -- one of Usher's best. The easygoing yet emotive title track, a cross between new wave and soft rock with an appearance from Luke Steele (the Sleepy Jackson, Empire of the Sun), could pass for a cover of a missing track from the back half of the first N.E.R.D. album. Ironically, that's the singer's boldest move. While Usher's talent as a vocalist adds some depth to the producer-driven field of dance music, he's more of a creative force when he's working with slower, soul-rooted material. There's no shame in riding the wave, especially when you can do it better than anyone else. Calling it revolutionary is disingenuous. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released July 8, 2014 | RCA Records Label

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R&B - Released June 8, 2012 | RCA Records Label

Usher was pushing his "revolutionary pop" concept as early as 2010, when he told StyleList, "I love that people are talking about the new hair, it represents who I am now and the creative movement of revolutionary pop." Prior to the release of his seventh studio album, he was doing it more than ever, quite likely encouraged by a Top Five Hot 100 collaboration with mainstream dance kingpin David Guetta ("Without You"). With rare exception, revolutionary pop as presented on Looking 4 Myself sounds just like contemporary pop-oriented R&B, or European dance-pop, or some combination of the two. Compared to Usher's previous album, this is weighted more heavily toward dance-pop, much of which is functional and well made but unremarkable. The set is front-loaded with two such numbers. "Can't Stop Won't Stop," a typically savvy production from will.i.am and partner Keith Harris, incorporates flashes of commercial dubstep and a synthesized version of that escalating wordless melody from Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." The Max Martin/Shellback-produced "Scream," a Top 20 hit by the time the album was released, is a pummeling dancefloor track with a mindless seduction theme. Next is the stellar Diplo collaboration "Climax," a bittersweet, 100% modern ballad that creates tension with space. It's more moving than what precedes and follows, but there are other highlights and a couple pleasantly surprising twists. "Lemme See," featuring Rick Ross, is a slithering, low-slung jam -- one of Usher's best. The easygoing yet emotive title track, a cross between new wave and soft rock with an appearance from Luke Steele (the Sleepy Jackson, Empire of the Sun), could pass for a cover of a missing track from the back half of the first N.E.R.D. album. Ironically, that's the singer's boldest move. While Usher's talent as a vocalist adds some depth to the producer-driven field of dance music, he's more of a creative force when he's working with slower, soul-rooted material. There's no shame in riding the wave, especially when you can do it better than anyone else. Calling it revolutionary is disingenuous. ~ Andy Kellman
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Pop - Released February 7, 2011 | LaFace Records

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R&B - Released September 20, 2010 | Sony Music Entertainment

With Usher's recent output veering further into dance-pop territory, this 11-track compilation from the Essential Mixes series handily revisits his previous forays into the club scene with floor-filling interpretations of nine of his hit singles, all of which originally appeared as B-sides. Those mourning the departure of his early sensual soul sound will be pleased to hear that two of the three '90s tracks stick closely to the source material, with Jermaine Dupri's remix of "My Way" indistinguishable from the original and Timbaland's retooling of chart-topper "You Make Me Wanna" retaining its slick urban melancholy, while also adding his trademark vocal tics, stabbed piano chords, and staccato rhythms. Only the acoustic ballad "Nice and Slow" is given a more radical makeover, thanks to the fusion of crunk beats, lolloping synth-bass lines, and old-skool electro vibes of B-Rock's Basement Mix. Indeed, the reworkings of his slow jams provide the more authentic dancefloor anthems, from the summery guitar licks, video game-style production, and 2-step garage of Soulpower's Artful Dodger-esque "U Got It Bad," to the bouncy minimal dancehall of Monk & Prof's remix of "Trading Places," to the dirty bass-led electroclash treatment afforded to "Moving Mountains" on the Pokerface Remix, which despite its title doesn't bear any relation to Lady Gaga. Less successful are the Pound Boys Boogie Vocal Mix of "U Don't Have to Call," which eschews the sparse Neptunes funk of the original in favor of formulaic filtered house; the trashy Euro-disco of the Bimbo Jones' radio edit of "Caught Up"; and the generic urban-electro of the Full Phatt Main Mix of "Burn." Like most other collections in the Sony series, this overview of the smooth R&B seducer's HI-NRG remixes is a mixed bag, but there's plenty here that would quite happily grace the sets of many a DJ. ~ Jon O'Brien
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Soul - Released January 23, 2018 | CB3 Media

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Pop - Released September 29, 2014 | Arista - LaFace Records

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Rock - Released May 6, 2014 | RCA Records Label

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R&B - Released September 27, 2010 | LaFace Records

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Soul - Released August 30, 1994 | Arista - LaFace Records

"...Usher is neither a blubbering slob nor a singing gangster; he's just a talented kid who feels as comfortable singing over break-beats and hip-hop loops as he does over lush string melodies..."
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R&B - Released September 26, 2014 | LaFace Records

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R&B - Released July 3, 2014 | RCA Records Label

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