Here I Stand
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's some sexy talk, the "N" word, a couple of brand names, and some assumptions of traditional gender roles on this album, but Usher is his usual honest and engaging self -- not to mention a truly gifted R&B singer.
What's the story?
On HERE I STAND, R&B star Usher once again reveals himself to be a complicated guy willing to explore his imperfections and inconsistencies with depth and candor. His honesty shines through on all the tracks, though many will have a strong reaction (anything from horror to amusement) to the sexist assumptions blithely expressed in \"Trading Places,\" the agony over the moral dilemma of loving more than one woman (\"Someone tell me what's a man to do when he's loving two/and he don't want to lie but he can't tell the truth\") on \"What's a Man to Do,\" or just wanting to fool around (\"Appetite\").
Is it any good?
Other songs express loftier values, notably "Prayer for You" -- an interlude featuring a gurgling baby -- and there are many expressions of faithful love and family responsibility. Most compelling is Usher's struggle to live up to his values and the desire to do the right thing in a messy, complex world, and his honesty about lessons learned when things don't quite go according to plan. That candor is so engaging -- and his performances so exceptional -- that there's value here for teens in similar circumstances.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the song "Trading Places" and the gender roles it describes -- the man is always on top during sex, the woman always makes breakfast. What do you think are the roles of men and women today? Do they crossover, or are they clearly defined?