Usher - Classic or Dud?

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I'm not really familiar with his older stuff, but his voice is excellent on "Burn."

Don't you listen to metal? Why are you concerned with supposedly objective evaluations of singing ability?

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 00:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'm a singer, and have been studying voice for well over a decade, and at one point, was majoring in it in college.

As I said...it's NOT really necessarily necessary to be a great singer to sell a good r&B song. I wouldn't say Al Green was *technically* a great singer, yet I totally feel his music. But while we were on the subject of his singing ability, I thought I would comment on that.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 00:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

did I REALLY just say "necessarily necessary"? My god, I can hardly believe I'm not still drunk.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 00:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'm surprised that so many people are bigging up the album so much - I count the following tracks as being worthy: "Yeah", "Throwback", "Confessions", "Burn" and that treacly Jermaine Dupri track towards the end. And that's it. Even the Richcraft track is unremarkable.

And "Throwback" is good but it should be much better.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 May 2004 00:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't say Al Green was *technically* a great singer

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Matos W.K. (M Matos), Monday, 3 May 2004 00:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yep, keep going, instead of explaining your position, continue with the ad hominems, they make you seem real intelligent.

Al Green was a great performer and a great R&B artist, but in terms of TECHNIQUE, he was nothing amazing. That is all I said, and it is true. He had the ability to sell a song that made up for it, though.

Do you REALLY want me to out-geek you on this one and give you vocal specifics?

Uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 00:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

I haven't gotten the album yet (I'm waiting till I hear "Confessions" on the radio so that it passes my three-singles-I-love-then-I-by-you rule) but even if only five tracks are credible that's at LEAST two more than Justified had.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 3 May 2004 00:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

I take Justin Timberlake as serious as I take making race cars out of diarrhea.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 00:57 (10 years ago) Permalink

JT = Usher + Corey Feldman

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 3 May 2004 00:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

How many times have we linked to this?

I'm taking bets on how much longer before "Uh" mentions how much he loves crunk + grime. Will the weight of the ILM hive mind overcome his defenses soon? Its not a question of "if" but "when."

Tim, I think Throwback is great!

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:04 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'm interested as to why you feel you should link to an article rather than make your own points.

I consider Timberlake a truly ironic joke. His music reeks of sheer deriviative crap, and I wouldn't be arsed to sit through more than 5 minutes of it.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

No I do like it a lot but I'd been hoping that it did for either "Pump It Up" or "Song Cry" what "Yeah" did for "Get Low" and instead find that it's ear-tickling but very restrained.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:06 (10 years ago) Permalink

and before someone mentions the whole "originality isn't a requirement" argument (one that I actually agree with), realize that's by far not the only problem I have with his retarded music.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

Tim, what do you think of "Caught Up"? I thought that track was terrific!

"Uh," I'm interested as to why you are afraid to read the article.

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

It was written by someone who posts here occasionally.

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

I actually think Timberlake sounded great on Celebrity but on Justified he got WAY overconfident, the music is so non-mall that it needs a singer who's equally supple. Timbo just sounds like he's going to do the Urkel (though all the singles are enjoyable). He sounded a lot more soulful when he surrounded himself with guys like Lance Bass and Max Martin.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:11 (10 years ago) Permalink

Afraid to read the article? Dee, I'm not sure what your issue is, but you seem to be unable to comprehend the fact that people don't like your favorite musical artists, instead choosing to believe that said people have some mental deficiency they were unaware of.

In any sense, I found the article to be somewhat stupid. It seems to be using one person's critique of Timberlake to represent everybody's, which is just stupid, plus the whole article is rather presumptuous about why people actually bash Timberlake in the media. It's a completely silly, elitist article, that fails to comprehend that just MAYBE the other side has a valid point.

I know I argue "rough" in here, but I would never SERIOUSLY attribute to someone a personal defect because they happened to like an artist I did. Half of my first posts were just for my own amusement.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:13 (10 years ago) Permalink

Timberlake's pipes are just shitty as hell. I work with people daily that could blow him off of the fucking planet.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

He gets blown plenty.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:16 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'm sure he does, however, that doesn't change the fact that he still sucks.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:18 (10 years ago) Permalink

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

the average Timberlake fan:

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

alright new topic. What's everybody's favorite part of "Burn"? The spoken intro? The climax? The mood shift? The word "fifty-leven"? the hoo-hoo-hoo's?

These days its boo-oooo for me.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

I like the breakdown in the middle. The cool descending synth-efx that sound like sweat dripping are really nice too. "fifty-leven" takes third place.

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

"SO MANY DAYS, SO MANY HOURS"!

C0L1N B3CK3TT (Colin Beckett), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

Or I guess it's "how". Either way, it's awesome.

C0L1N B3CK3TT (Colin Beckett), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

I like "Burn" and all, but I mean, without the completely spastic meter of the verses, it'd be a pretty unremarkable ballad. I guess that's kind of the point, though.

Al (sitcom), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:49 (10 years ago) Permalink

And did anyone else see Usher and Luda on SNL last night? Usher was fucking incredible.

C0L1N B3CK3TT (Colin Beckett), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

I love that they did the bit with the different dances that Lil Jon does at the end of the video, that's by far my favorite part of the video.

Al (sitcom), Monday, 3 May 2004 01:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

THUNDACLAP!

djdee2005, Monday, 3 May 2004 01:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

It's a shame he didn't make a whole album of "Burn"/"Confessions" style tracks. This R Kelly/Joni Mitchell fusion thing he's got going is great!

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 3 May 2004 02:06 (10 years ago) Permalink

Rockaway, Rockaway, Rockaway, Rockaway aaaaand cut.

Al (sitcom), Monday, 3 May 2004 02:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

I was talking to a friend about "Burn" today and he point out that it's reminiscent of Bone Thugs' "Crossroads", which is definitely a good point of comparison in certain parts of the song.

I realized recently, mainly because of the weird emotionally manipulative qualities of "Burn" and "Confessions part 2" that Ursher really reminds a lot of a psycho ex-roommate and I think that that's where some of my dislike of Usher is coming from.

Al (sitcom), Monday, 3 May 2004 05:13 (10 years ago) Permalink

''Al Green was a great performer and a great R&B artist, but in terms of TECHNIQUE, he was nothing amazing''

Surely performance and bringing a feeling to a song is a kind of technique all by itself. Most ppl can't evaluate or even care much for this def of technique you are talking about.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 3 May 2004 11:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

Usher getting busted staring at under-age boobies on national TV: Classic


boldbury (boldbury), Monday, 3 May 2004 13:46 (10 years ago) Permalink

I have always unabashedly and brazenly loved. Even when I was still a ridiculously indie-only fuxor.


I am mainly concerned with his hypnotizing moves, though, and can't really seem to recall any of his songs that ever really moved me at the moment.

roxymuzak (roxymuzak), Monday, 3 May 2004 13:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

(Hahaha Usher isn't going to be busting out any arias anytime soon but as far as contemporary R&B singing is concerned dude is pretty much on point in terms of consistency and pitch.)

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 3 May 2004 14:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

I haven't listened to his earlier albums, but Confessions is good. It's better than Justified, but I would like to see that collaboration happen.

Also, the copy of Confessions I downloaded had Usher's cover of Phil Collins' "You'll Be In My Heart" from the Tarzan soundtrack hiding in it, which was special.

Stuart (Stuart), Monday, 3 May 2004 14:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

you know he's just doing the Disney tunes to get in good with Lohan.

Al (sitcom), Monday, 3 May 2004 14:39 (10 years ago) Permalink

consistency and pitch. wow. what an amazing endorsement.

especially due to how easy it is to fix wrong notes in the studio.

Even by R&B singing standards, he sucks. I'd rather listen to a Lenny Williams or a Philip Bailey or even a Luther anyday.

uh, Monday, 3 May 2004 15:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

But the moves!!

roxymuzak (roxymuzak), Monday, 3 May 2004 15:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

seeing him in that Bam-Bam costume on Michael jackson's anniversary special was humorous

uh (eetface), Monday, 3 May 2004 15:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Surely performance and bringing a feeling to a song is a kind of technique all by itself. Most ppl can't evaluate or even care much for this def of technique you are talking about."

Of course that's a large piece of being a good vocalist/performer, but in a genre that's so largely focused on the vocalist, it definitely can't be the whole piece of the pie. I don't feel Usher when he sings, either. I'm not saying he's soul-less, but he sounds that way because of his dynamic-depleted singing.

uh (eetface), Monday, 3 May 2004 15:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

Well to most ppl it seems to be the whole piece. And like you said, you can fix bad notes in the studio.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

(Hahaha we know how much I prefer studio babies to people who can sing live, don't we boys and girls?)

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:47 (10 years ago) Permalink

It's been your calling card all this time!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Fuck Christina Aguilera, Britney and Justin can perform circles around her! And Alicia Keys can go sit on a pole, too."

VengaDan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:54 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yea, but if the artist ever performs live, the fans will sure feel ripped off if they cannot pull the music off. I personally dislike abusing pitch correction, as I think it's better just to sing the passage over again, but I'll only use pitch correction on minor nitpicky things like being a tad flat or sharp.

We're getting off-topic, though. All I mentioned is that Usher was a flat, dynamicless singer. I mentioned notes being fixed in the studio to show that merely staying on pitch on recording doesn't mean you're on pitch when you sing, since the studio has helped even Anthony Kiedis sound on pitch at times.

Of course I'll get painted like technical geek now, but I don't think character is the whole piece of the pie whatsoever with an R&B performer.

I can be passionate about taking a dump, and really put my heart and soul into it, but the end result is still shit. Some genres do not require as much ability as others, but I'd prefer a more capable vocalist who has both the magic and the ability like a Lenny Williams.

What's with this overanalyzation of Usher, anyways? I could sum him up in very few words: tired, unenthused boredom.

uh (eetface), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:57 (10 years ago) Permalink

I have no earthly idea what direction you're trying to take this thread, Venga.

for the record, I truly enjoy Alicia Keys (though I prefer her first cd.)

uh (eetface), Monday, 3 May 2004 16:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

P.S., if anybody takes this as a slam on fixing mistakes in the studio, you've missed what I was saying. Studio recordings are separate entities from live performances, and I know that.

uh (eetface), Monday, 3 May 2004 17:01 (10 years ago) Permalink


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