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by Usher
8701 by Usher
Released: Aug 2001
Label: Arista
Usher's third album marks his departure from the bubblegum RnB of his 1994 self-titled debut and 1998's My Way. His phrasing is more assured; the subject matter thornier and more sexual; and the production fuller, with more hip-hop veneer. The bouncy "U Remind Me" is a catchy, mid-tempo jam about mistaken identity, while the slow-burning "U Got It Bad" is a tortured plea to an obsessive lover. Though the archetypes may be familiar, Usher carries them off with more panache than most.
Sam Chennault