He got some star tracks from the cosmos, solicited beats from Janet Jackson's best friends and boyfriend, and heck, just for good measure, he even took a few joints fresh out of the Chocolate Factory's kitchen. Now that Usher has his team together, the singer is ready to drop his next LP, Confessions, on March 16.
"It's just a conglomerate of good energy for a good record," Usher said about the LP that his been billed as his most personal. "Hopefully it'll be a little bit of what everybody wants to hear right now; a little bit of R&B, a little bit of hip-hop/R&B-feeling type records. But this is definitely a classic R&B album."
Usher's been recording for months now (see "Usher Works With R. Kelly, Neptunes To Deliver Real Talk On New LP"), and according to his spokesperson, tracks produced by the Neptunes, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Jermaine Dupri and R. Kelly have made the final cut. The 25-year-old singer just went back in the lab with Kells to finish more songs.
"With this album I chose some new producers who I figured would definitely allow me to really articulate myself in a different way," he explained about getting down with some people like Kelly, with whom he had never worked before. "Every album you gotta grow. You gotta look for something different. This one is a take on vocals as well as entertainment. 'Can he do it again? Can he open it up? Can he push the envelope?' That's what this one is all about, the next step."
Usher's next step is to slide back on radio and into the clubs. A party record to cozy back up to the fans that features fellow ATL powerhouses Ludacris and Lil Jon called "Yeah" was just leaked, and another warm-up may be on the way. The singer has selected "Burn" as the first official single. He's currently going through video treatments and hopes to start production on that clip soon.