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Usher, Wow

I can't believe that "Usher has scored the best opening sales week ever for a male R&B artist and the best debut week of 2004 with his fifth Arista set "Confessions." See Billboard for the full article and numbers.

I'm amazed because I didn't notice any big hype about the album and none of my friends rushed out to buy it. The day 50 Cent dropped I remember major retail outlets being sold out by that aternoon. But Usher..? It didn't feel that exciting a release, at least not to me.

What does this mean in terms of music industry trends. I don't know, I don't know.

By the way, Vibe has a great cover article on him this month.

April 5, 2004 in News | Link Me | Related Searches | Related Music

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What's even worse is that the album is not good, in my opinion. I'll have to blog about it, but the state of the way things are today musically, I'm not impressed by what's being released at the moment.

Posted by: ej at Apr 6, 2004 7:49:43 AM

I don't know much about what's happening in the R&B scene but I know there is not too coming out in Jazz this season. I did notice a bit of a push online promoting Usher's new album. It's early. I am rambling.

Posted by: James at Apr 6, 2004 7:56:35 AM

Every where I have heard it was the best male R&B artist opening week ever. Was there ever an female who bested this opening week performance by Usher?

Posted by: Miki at Apr 6, 2004 3:47:14 PM

> What's even worse is that the album is not good, in my opinion. I'll have to blog about it, but the state of the way things are today musically, I'm not impressed by what's being released at the moment.

I'm gonna have to disgaree with you on both your points. Forgive me but I'm also gonna repost the same comment I posted at the Hardly Art, Hardly Garbage blog to rebut your first point:

Seriously, the Usher album is fantastic. As was his last album. All these hipster fashion-victims who either genuinely or ironically were creaming themselves over Justin Timberlake's jawn last year just because he linked up with Pharell and Timbo are playing themesleves if they front on this album.

Usher's the real deal: he made the best album major label money and muscle can buy. Mariah and Janet should take a lesson from him on how to make a million dollar album actually sound like a million dollars.

As for your second point, people are constantly complaining saying there's no good music any more but even for R&B, that's just not true. To Wit, from the last year:

- R Kelly -- Chocolate Factory
- Anthony Hamilton -- Comin' Where I'm From

are both undeniably classic albums. I happen to like the Erykah Badu, Musiq and Dwelel albums too, although that's more my personal taste than albums I would argue are undeniable.

Other albums people have said good things about include: Meshell Ndegeocello, Joss Stone, Amel, Van Hunt.

Then you have soulful hip hop albums like Kanye's and Outkast's.

I don't know, there's plenty of great music out there for those looking.

Posted by: ian at Apr 22, 2004 1:04:18 PM


I would have to disagree with you. It's easy to defend the majority of these artists when many of fans now-a-days don't understand the energy that artists in the past put into their music. Sure the musical capabilities (sound quality)has gotten better over time, but artists are a lot less creative. Yeah there are some pretty good albums out, but overall the music industry sucks. There's no need for us to keep lying to ourselves and denying the facts. While the artists that you mentioned may have good music, they are carrying a heavy load at the expense of artists who are following trends which will eventually fade away. It's really unfair to them. It's cool that we have genres in place, but when we start categorizing further by classifying music as Neo-Soul and so forth, it makes me nervous because before you know it that classification will be exploited for what it is worth. Just as Hip-Hop needs a lot of house cleaning, R&B needs it as well. Maybe not as much, but it definitely needs it...


Posted by: Maynard Morgan at Aug 27, 2004 9:48:33 AM