DAR Roundtable: Usher's 8701 vs Confessions


1. Intro-Lude 8701
2. U Remind Me
3. I Don't Know
4. Twork It Out
5. U Got It Bad
6. If I Want To
7. I Can't Let U Go
8. U Don't Have To Call
9. Without U(Interlude)
10. Can U Help Me
11. How Do I Say
12. Hottest Thing
13. Good Ol' Ghetto
14. U-Turn
15. U R The One



1. Intro 
2. Yeah!
3. Throwback 
4. Confessions(Interlude)
5. Confessions Part II
6. Burn
7. Caught Up
8. Superstar(Interlude)
9. Superstar
10. Truth Hurts
11. Simple Things 
12. Bad Girl 
13. That's What It's Made For
14. Can U Handle It?
15. Do It To Me
16. Take Your Hand
17. Follow Me
18. My Boo
19. Red Light
20. Seduction
21. Confessions Part II Remix

Usher has a pretty solid catalog, a legacy in R&B, and today we wanted to discuss two of his most popular albums, 8701 and Confessions.

I will have to say that I prefer the fun of 8701 over the story of Confessions honestly. Both albums are great, but personally I prefer 8701 just a little bit.

This one is really tough. I literally can't choose. Confessions is Usher's best album no doubt, BUT 8701 is a classic in my opinion also. While some people would say 8701 has filler, I disagree. No skippable tracks off that album. Even the hilarious song U-Turn is flames.

Of course, Confessions is Usher's most personal and inspired effort. That's probably why a lot of people gravitate towards that album.

Make no mistake, while that album is more deeply rooted in inner conflict, 8701 is the polar opposite. Being an album that was definitely more up tempo and "light hearted". It's like 8701 was the goody two shoes Superman album. Confessions was like the Batman of the two.

Instruments are definitely better on Confessions as Usher tried to make the album his most soulful project to date. 8701 had soulfulness to it but definitely a more electronic sound.

Each album has tracks that could go toe to toe with each other. To be honest, you could like one album better than the other with pride.

Confessions. I'm a sucker for concept albums. Confessions introduced the idea to millennials before we discovered the classic Here My Dear, for instance. 8701 has hits, but the story and presentation of Confessions wins out every time. Plus, we don't have to deal with Usher dancing in the street while it's raining thinking about Brandy or someone in Confessions. This time, things get...Chilli.

Crappy puns aside, the swag is stripped away a bit, making this man even more of an artist who people just HAD to watch. Confessions wins for me on an artistic and personal level.

I never really considered myself a huge fan of Usher when he first came out, but album after album left me feeling like Usher embodied everything that an R&B artist should: great melody, rhythm and lyrics. He brought them together to instantly have you thinking about love, relationships and heartbreaks and even adding some dope club tracks.

So here we are comparing 8701 and Confessions which are both great albums. They both capture the essence of everything you expect from an R&B album, however Confessions in my opinion, is better. Not only did the album's sales do almost 3 times more than 8701, but the tracklist is more solid. He gave us 2 tracks with "Yeah!" and "Caught Up" which were the fun, upbeat songs you couldn't wait to hear, whether it was at the club or on the radio. Then with "Confessions Part 1 & 2", "Burn", and "My Boo", it seemed as though he poured his heart out and conveyed perfectly all the emotions he was feeling and experiencing. 8701 had similar elements, but the songs just came up short with the impact on the listener. To me, 8701 just wasn't a memorable album. With production, lyrics, beats and impact on the listener, Confessions nailed it. I feel it also really highlighted Usher's range as an R&B artist from track to track. Confessions definitely (and easily) takes it!!

Personally, I like 8701, a great transition from being a teenage sensation to delivering a solid album like this. Usher's versatility is great here, the slow jams, usage of his range, and just overall gave us a great piece of work from start to finish about lost love that is still relevant to this day. Usher hits ALL the heartstrings on "U Got It Bad", the first time I heard the song that ONE relationship came to mind, and I'm sure it did with you guys too. Although I wasn't balling on Usher's level, she could have my single car. While, on the other hand, Confessions had "Confessions Part 1&2" which is one of the greatest R&B stories ever told. A great R&B story has to be the go to when I'm drinking my tears as part of my heartbreak diet and "Confessions" is probably the go to song. But there's a lighter mood with "Yeah!" and physically a how-to with the song "That's What It's Made For". "My Boo" is another great story of lost love and always has that personal connection with me. Some songs just hit harder when you've gone through certain things and Usher is great at being able to hit that feeling. But to sum it all up, Confessions is the complete package and is the better album in my opinion.

I enjoy both albums, but I have to be honest: Confessions was my go-to album for a long time. Young True was in a high school relationship as this album was coming out and for some reason, this album spoke to me on a lot of levels. I'm sure I'm not alone in that regard. I have always been partial to "Superstar"(and its interlude), "Simple Things", "Can U Handle It", and my personal favorite song here "Follow Me". I loved the story told on the album, the feel of the music and while 8701 has some classics(U Don't Have To Call and U Remind Me instantly come to mind), I have to honestly choose Confessions by a decent margin. Confessions is one of the greatest R&B albums of the 2000s and Usher's best album ever. He has struggled with his albums after and this was his peak. Not many albums can say they went diamond in the 2000s or period for that matter. This album was perfect. Confessions it is.

What about you guys? Join in on the conversation by letting us know your thoughts below.



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