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Way too serious to be good pop music, 8710 is simply no fun.
Helen Toland, 02 Aug 2001
Singer, songwriter, producer, dancer and actor – 22-year-old Usher Raymond fancies himself as a bit of a Renaissance man. 8701 is his fourth release and the first studio album since his seven million-unit-shifting My Way in 1997.
It’s easy to see how he’s made it this far and as it most certainly ain’t broke, Mr Raymond won’t be fixing anything. Produced by Usher himself with Babyface and Jam & Lewis among others, each track of slick, well-polished pop is a potential hit single – given the right video and choreography treatment, of course. ‘U Remind Me’ and ‘Pop Ya Collar’ have already been inescapable on the airwaves this year.
But when it comes down to the wire, for all its P. Diddy guest vocals (that’s Puffy Daddy to you and me) and oh so dazzling album sleeve, 8701 can’t help being the most indulgent, arrogant recording I’ve heard in a while. All self-important, misguided and laughable lyrics, Ushers self-worth obviously needs no bolstering. Way too serious to be good pop music, 8701 is simply no fun. Like it’s predecessor, it’ll probably be huge.