Release Date: May 27, 2008
Record label: Jive
Like Barry White, Jodeci, and R. Kelly before him, R&B superstar Usher is the master of a very specific milieu: music for — and about — making babies. And it has certainly served him well. Since the now 29-year-old first emerged as a precocious, buttery-smooth lothario in the mid-’90s, he’s brought home five Grammys, racked up a dozen top 10 singles, and sold more than 25 million records.
After the release of 2004's Confessions, an album that transformed Usher from an R&B star into a pop superstar, the singer became a husband and father. That grants Here I Stand more lyrical depth than the four previous Usher albums, but we're not talking fathoms. There's a two-minute lullaby for his son, and the noticeably increased talk of settling down and turning in his player card ("My search ends here," "This time love won't let me leave") now holds more weight since he has actually done it through the eyes of the law; he certainly never would have thought to use "Your mama and my mama want some grandbabies tonight" at any earlier point in his life.