Entertainment Weekly - p.120
"[A] good portion of STAND's tunes deserve a place in the dance-floor pantheon..." -- Grade: B+
Blender (Magazine) - p.723 stars out of 5
-- "The production is cocktail-lounge crunk, full of splashy cymbals, jazzy electric guitar and tinkly pianos."
Following the nine-times platinum CONFESSIONS, Usher had a tall order to fulfill with 2008's HERE I STAND. To his credit, the R&B sensation didn't merely replicate CONFESSIONS, but instead moved into new thematic territory while still remaining true to his now-patented silky-smooth urban contemporary sound. Lyrically, HERE I STAND reflects Usher's commitments as a husband and father, with songs like "Before I Met You" and "Lifetime" replacing the wild narratives of his bachelor days. R&B's premiere player seems to have grown up.
But even given Usher's maturity on this set, there's plenty to please the legions of fans used to his sensual, stylish music. Opener "Love in This Club" is a soaring, thumping anthem featuring a spot by Young Jeezy, while "Part II" boasts appearances by Beyonce and Lil Wayne. "Best Thing," featuring Jay Z, blends hip-hop with Usher's sweet soul. But the album's real highlights--moments like "Trading Places" and the old-school-sounding "Something Special"-- feature Usher's sexy, elastic voice unleashed to full effect, reminding listeners that just because Usher is settling down doesn't mean that he's getting stale.