A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are so many intense messages here that it's hard to decide whether this CD is sexist, sexy, callous, heartfelt, brutally self-aware, or all of the above. What it is, above all, is honest.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
On CONFESSIONS, Usher may seem to be a bit sexist and flaunting his sexuality, but above all else, he portrays a refreshing honesty. The sexual innuendo is presented in word play that's at least a bit clever, and there are some surprising moments of genuine self-awareness, emotion, passion, and regret. The title tracks, \"Confessions (Interlude)\" and \"Confessions Part II\" tell an all-too-familiar story -- a little morality play in the form of a soul song. The good-as-gold girlfriend is hearing from her guy about his other relationship -- and the \"chick on the side's\" pregnancy, and she is angry. The story is told from the boyfriend's point of view, showing his anxiety, regret, and confusion over events that suddenly seem way out of control. You can feel his racing heart and sweaty palms, his fear that he has blown it big time with his true love. There's no resolution, but it's a beautifully crafted statement that might make young people in this real-life situation feel less alone.
Is it any good?
At first listen, it's easy to dismiss Usher's Confessions as just another sexist rant in which the tedious old double standard rules the day. But listen again, and you'll find more depth and honesty in these songs than on most pop CDs. The singing, production, and instrumental performances are exquisite throughout, largely because Usher lets us in with surprising self-awareness and honesty.