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Usher Review

An overview of his discography, new album, and opinions on half time performance…
Evan Agostini

Usher has created a stage presence, timeless ballads, and party music since he first burst onto the scene.  The reason for writing this article is his newest album release in five years ago, and his performance at the Super Bowl. 

On August 30th, 1994, Usher made his break into music with the release of his album Usher. This debuted the star as a teenage sensation. This led to acting jobs. 

The recurring character that Usher played on Moesha was a love interest that grew on the audience. (JET Magazine)

Usher has been featured in shows over the 90s popping out his early career, at that time. The movies and shows were popular among many audiences, including; The Parent Hood (1998), The Bold and The Beautiful (1998), The Faculty (1998), Cousin Skeeter (1998), She’s all That (1999), Promise Land (1999), Moesha (as a recurring guest star 1997-1999),  and Texas Rangers (2001). These helped gain a fan base after the release of his first album and set up a audience for his second album.

After his second album, he starred in Sabrina the Teenage Witch (2002) and 7th Heaven (2002). These shows are prevalent with many different age groups grabbing the attention of everyone. After the release of his second album, he was secured in his music career, and he still does acting jobs in little kid shows and more grownup films. The second and third album, My Way and Live, album put him on the map, being used as ballads of confessions. His fourth album, 8701, was released on August 7th 2001. His team moved him into the R&B genre of pop, which was popular at the time. This music has a little bit of a faster beat and is more danceable. 

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Usher’s album confessions was ranked the 2nd best album of the 2000’s on the Billboard’s Top 200 albums of the Decade 2000’s list. (Billboard)

The next albums, were received by the public as timeless as the fifth album. Confessions was RBb gold as the ones that came after. Here I Stand, Raymond v Raymond, and Looking 4 Myself, were all pop albums with a party tone. His most notable songs are “Burn”, “OMG”, “Good Kisser”, “Yeah!”, “Love in This Club”, “Caught Up”, and “Daddy’s Home.”  He lit up the club scene of the 2010’s, which is why a lot of millennials and generation X know his music. The music was of a broad form and emotional range to be played apart of many different social settings. 

He recently released his ninth album, Coming Home, which is his first album to be released since 2018. This album is more centered to his target audience of people in their 40s. He propelled the release of his new album through his halftime performance with a release of a single track, “Standing Next To You” ft. Jung Kook. “Standing Next To You” charted after only one week of being posted. Tik Tok took storm of this song as it became a trend with the video featuring a catchy beat and dancing. 

Coming Home is for the people that like a slower passed calmer R&B pop mix and features 20 songs. A lot of the songs are centered around, love and heartbreak; producing a more tone like Frank Ocean Blonde album and SZA music feel. The most notable on the album was “A-Town,” which is a remix rendition of “Uptown Girl.” 

Usher and Alicia Keys performing My Boo with electrifying chemistry that broke the internet, joking becoming a “they’re just friends” meme.

The halftime show was great, but in my opinion it could have been better. To go over his performance, he entered in dancing and singing to “Caught Up.” The line up after “Caught Up”: “U Don’t Have to Call,” “Superstar,” “Love in this Club,” “Ain’t Got U” sung by Alicia Keys, “My Boo” duet between Usher and Alicia Keys, “Confessions Part II,” “Nice & Slow,” “Burn, Bad Girl,” “U Got It Bad,” “OMG,” “Turn Down for What” sung by Lil John, and “Yeah!” sung by Lil John, Ludacris, William, and Usher. These were all great song choices and guests, but there are songs Usher forgot. 

During the 2011 Grammys, Usher brought out his shadow in the business, Justin Beiber, for their iconic performance of “OMG.” This is nostalgic for generation Z as they grew up with this duo, from Justin’s start of his career in his second tour he brought out Usher and they had a remix of Justin’s song, “Somebody to Love.” Many people got their hopes up as they were hoping for Justin to come out since Justin performed at the NHL the previous weeks. 

Social media platforms called out that the performance was not good. I refuse to say that it was that bad as he danced for more than half of the performance and considered the wide range of ages that know his music. “Daddy’s Home” was one expected by people to be introducing because it has a recognizable beat and is one of his most famous songs, but was never played. I think that it would have been an impeccable song to put before Caught Up. 

The roller skates were a notable part of his performance as it was not just dancing and walking around.  The marching band was a tactical point as they were a nice touch to the music and provided a good match to the beats of his music, creating, at some points, a new spin on his digitally recorded music. 

What do you think of Usher’s music, latest album, and performance?  

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About the Contributor
Gwyneth Johnson
Gwyneth Johnson, Staff Reporter
I'm a junior student-athlete at Sutton Highschool. I participate in many clubs at school that help me pursue my interests in marketing and leadership. Though I would not describe myself as a highly social person, I do enjoy hanging out with my friends, team dinners, and getting to know new people. My favorite color has been red for a long time, and I love binge watching movies and TV shows.

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