Usher, the smooth crooner with the killer dance moves, has had an illustrious career in the world of pop music. From the moment he burst onto the scene with his self-titled debut album in 1994, it was clear that Usher was destined for greatness. And boy, did he deliver.
With a discography that spans three decades, Usher has consistently pushed boundaries and reinvented himself with each new album. From his early R&B hits like “My Way” and “Nice & Slow” to his chart-topping bangers like “U Remind Me” and “Yeah!”, Usher has left an indelible mark on the music industry. One of his standout albums is “Confessions (Expanded Edition)”, which solidified Usher’s status as the king of contemporary R&B. Packed with irresistible hooks and emotionally charged lyrics, this album showcased Usher’s raw talent and catapulted him to superstardom. Tracks like “Burn” and “Confessions Part II” became anthems for a generation, capturing the ups and downs of love and relationships with brutal honesty.
Another noteworthy addition to Usher’s discography is “Looking 4 Myself (Expanded Edition)”. This album saw Usher experimenting with different musical styles, blending R&B with electronic and pop elements. The result was a collection of infectious tracks like “Climax” and “Scream” that showcased Usher’s versatility as an artist. But it’s not just Usher’s solo albums that deserve recognition. Collaborative projects like “A” with producer Zaytoven displayed Usher’s ability to seamlessly navigate the worlds of R&B and trap, creating a unique sound that was both gritty and sensual.
So let’s get into it. From his debut self-titled album to the reimagined anniversary edition of “My Way”, here we rank all of Usher’s Albums from Worst to Best.
10. Hard II Love ( Sep 2016 )
Usher’s album “Hard II Love,” released in 2016, was a bold attempt to redefine his sound and push the boundaries of contemporary R&B. Known for his smooth vocals and infectious beats, Usher took a more introspective and experimental approach on this record. With tracks like “Crash” and “No Limit,” he seamlessly blended elements of R&B, hip-hop, and electronic music, creating a unique sonic landscape that showcased his versatility as an artist. While “Hard II Love” didn’t achieve the same commercial success as some of his earlier albums, it was praised by critics for its innovative production and Usher’s heartfelt lyrics. It may not be his most commercially successful album, but “Hard II Love” is a testament to Usher’s willingness to evolve and take risks in his music.
9. “A” ( Oct 2018 )
Usher’s album “A” was like a breath of fresh air in 2018. Bursting with pulsating beats and infectious melodies, this record showcased Usher’s versatility and growth as an artist. His smooth vocals effortlessly glided over the slick production, creating an irresistible combination that had fans grooving from start to finish. Tracks like “Don’t Waste My Time” and “Peace Sign” brought a modern R&B sound to the forefront, while the sensual “How Do I Say” and the emotional ballad “Say What U Want” showcased Usher’s ability to tap into deep emotions. With “A,” Usher proved once again why he is an icon in the world of pop music, delivering a collection of songs that were both captivating and undeniably catchy. It’s an album that deserves a spot on every pop music lover’s playlist.
8. Versus ( Aug 2010 )
Usher’s album “Versus” is an undeniable gem in his discography. Released in 2010, this album serves as an extension and reimagining of his previous album “Raymond v. Raymond.” It’s a sleek and sophisticated collection of tracks that showcases Usher’s growth as an artist.
“Versus” is a seamless blend of R&B, pop, and hip-hop, with Usher’s smooth vocals effortlessly gliding over infectious beats. The album’s lead single, “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love,” featuring Pitbull, is an absolute banger that dominated airwaves and dance floors. Other standout tracks include the seductive “Hot Tottie” with Jay-Z and the heartfelt ballad “There Goes My Baby.”
While “Versus” may not have reached the commercial success of “Confessions” or “8701,” it’s an underrated gem that deserves recognition. Usher delivers catchy hooks, captivating lyrics, and superb production throughout the album, solidifying his status as one of the true legends of R&B.
7. Looking 4 Myself (Expanded Edition) ( Jun 2012 )
“Looking 4 Myself” is a true gem in Usher’s discography. Released in 2012, this album marked a departure from his earlier R&B sound and a dive into a more experimental and contemporary pop sound. Usher effortlessly blends genres like dance-pop, electronic, and even dubstep in this record, showcasing his versatility as an artist. The album’s lead single, “Climax,” became an instant hit, with its haunting vocals and innovative production. Tracks like “Scream” and “Numb” are undeniable club bangers that showcase Usher’s ability to create infectious dance anthems. While some critics argue that the album’s experimentation dilutes Usher’s signature style, it can’t be denied that “Looking 4 Myself” showcases his willingness to take risks and evolve as an artist. Whether you’re a die-hard Usher fan or a casual pop music lover, this album is definitely worth a listen.
6. Here I Stand ( May 2008 )
“Here I Stand,” released in 2008, marked a pivotal moment in Usher’s career. With this album, he sought to showcase his growth as both an artist and a man. Known for his smooth R&B style, Usher expanded his musical horizons by incorporating elements of pop, hip-hop, and even gospel into the mix. The album’s lead single, “Love in This Club,” featuring Young Jeezy, stormed the charts with its infectious chorus and seductive lyrics. Usher’s signature falsetto shines throughout the album, particularly in tracks like “Moving Mountains” and the emotionally charged ballad “Trading Places.” However, “Here I Stand” is not without its flaws. Some critics argued that Usher played it safe, conforming to radio-friendly formulas rather than pushing boundaries. Despite this critique, the album solidified Usher’s status as a mainstay in the R&B scene. Overall, “Here I Stand” showcases Usher’s evolution as an artist and his willingness to experiment with different genres. It remains an important chapter in his discography and a testament to his enduring talent.
5. Raymond v Raymond (Expanded Edition) ( Mar 2010 )
When it comes to Usher albums, “Raymond v Raymond (Expanded Edition)” is a standout gem. Released on March 30, 2010, this record showcased Usher’s effortless ability to blend R&B with pop sensibilities, cementing his status as one of the biggest stars in the industry. Packed with infectious hooks, slick production, and Usher’s signature smooth vocals, this album is a testament to his versatility as an artist. “Raymond v Raymond (Expanded Edition)” delves into the complexities of love, relationships, and personal growth, giving listeners an intimate glimpse into Usher’s world. Tracks like “OMG” and “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” became instant anthems, dominating radio airwaves and dance floors worldwide. Usher’s impeccable swagger and undeniable charisma shine through on every track, making this album a must-listen for anyone seeking a dose of feel-good, chart-topping pop music.
4. Usher ( Aug 1994 )
“Usher” is the eponymous debut album by the legendary R&B artist Usher, released on August 30, 1994. Now, let me tell you, this album laid the foundation for his incredible career in the music industry. With a mix of smooth R&B, soulful grooves, and killer vocals, Usher showcased his raw talent from the get-go. Tracks like “Can U Get Wit It” and “Think of You” are pure ear candy, displaying Usher’s smooth falsetto and irresistible charm. The album also featured the iconic slow jam “Slow Love,” which solidified Usher as a heartthrob for fans worldwide. While it may not have reached the astronomical success of his later albums, “Usher” remains a standout debut, revealing the potential of an artist destined for greatness. It’s the beginning of Usher’s musical journey, and boy, what a journey it turned out to be.
3. My Way ( Sep 1997 )
Usher’s second studio album, “My Way,” dropped on September 16, 1997, and it solidified his status as a rising R&B star. This album showcased Usher’s growth and maturity as an artist, as he explored themes of love, heartbreak, and self-empowerment. With its slick production and infectious hooks, “My Way” became an instant hit. The album’s title track, “My Way,” with its smooth groove and Usher’s silky vocals, became an anthem for anyone seeking to assert their independence. Other standout tracks like “Nice & Slow” and “You Make Me Wanna…” further solidified Usher’s ability to craft irresistible and soulful tunes. “My Way” catapulted Usher to new heights and set the stage for his future success. It’s an essential album for any fans of R&B and a testament to Usher’s talent and artistry.
2. 8701 ( Aug 2001 )
Usher’s album “8701” released on August 7, 2001, is a true gem in the world of R&B and pop music. This record solidified Usher’s status as one of the leading artists of the early 2000s. With hit singles like “U Remind Me,” “U Got It Bad,” and “U Don’t Have to Call,” Usher’s smooth vocals and infectious hooks captivated listeners worldwide. “8701” showcases Usher’s growth as an artist, incorporating elements of soul, funk, and hip-hop into his signature sound. The album’s production, helmed by heavyweight producers like Jermaine Dupri and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, is top-notch, creating a sonic landscape that perfectly complements Usher’s vocals. Not only did “8701” achieve commercial success, but it also garnered critical acclaim. It received three Grammy nominations, including Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “U Remind Me.” The album’s timeless appeal has cemented its place in pop music history, making it a must-listen for any fan of R&B and Usher himself.
1. Confessions (Expanded Edition) ( Mar 2004 )
Usher’s “Confessions (Expanded Edition)” is a monumental album that solidified his place as an R&B superstar. Released in 2004, this album is a confessional masterpiece, showcasing Usher’s vulnerability and emotional depth. The expanded edition of the album added extra tracks that further enhanced its impact. With infectious hits like “Yeah!” featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Burn,” and “Confessions Part II,” Usher struck gold by delivering a seamless blend of smooth vocals and irresistible beats. The album explores themes of love, heartbreak, and personal growth, resonating with listeners on a deep level. From start to finish, “Confessions” is a masterclass in contemporary R&B. Usher’s silky voice effortlessly glides over rich production, courtesy of renowned producers like Jermaine Dupri and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. This album pushed boundaries, bridging the gap between R&B and pop with its catchy hooks and relatable lyrics. “Confessions (Expanded Edition)” is a timeless classic that solidifies Usher as one of the greatest R&B artists of his generation. It remains an essential piece of pop music history and a testament to Usher’s talent and enduring influence.