Rating: NNNN

Dave Hollister christened a new era of “real talk” in R&B with his 2003 release of the same name, and Usher steps up and continues the trend with his fifth album. Here he exercises his vocal cords while speaking on sexy times as well as the many times he’s almost cried, whether because a girl’s left him or he’s impregnated a girl he’s having an affair with. The production is great though slick, with work from Just Blaze, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and Lil Jon’s sparse, technofied club entry Yeah, featuring Ludacris. Confessions is a solid album that doesn’t have a huge range of sounds but accomplishes its goal of breaking hearts in a way that affects me far more than Jack Johnson does.

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