Five Best Tracks From Usher’s Self-Titled Debut Album
R&B superstar Usher has maintained a viable career in the music game for more than 20 years — a feat only a handful of artists have accomplished.
Throughout his career in the business, fans have watched the Chattanooga, Tenn., native grow from a precocious young talent into the mature artist that he is today. But it all wouldn’t have been possible without his self-titled debut LP on LaFace Records.
Released on Aug. 30, 1994, the 14-song effort helped lay the groundwork for the crooner’s illustrious rise in R&B. Executive produced by his mentors Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy) and L.A. Reid, the album was moderately successful boasting the lone hit, ‘When I Think of You.’
Since today marks the 20th anniversary of his often overlooked debut effort, we’ve decided to share the five best tracks from his eponymous album. Check out Usher’s early confessions when he was just only 14 years old.
'Think Of You'
'Usher's debut single 'Can U Get Wit It' was a decent hit in it's own right, but the follow-up single, 'Think Of You,' would prove to be the album's most memorable hit. Centered around a lady the young crooner is pursuing with trepidation, the track was a mainstay on urban radio in 1994. The song would serve as the foundation for the the singer's eventual house of hits.
'Crazy' sees Usher showing special attention to his teenaged love. Innocent enough for younger ears, albeit with a mature undertone, instead of coming off as Disney-esque, the track straddles the thin line between bubbblegum and racy lyrics.
The album's intensity picks up with the ballad 'Slow Love,' which is produced by Al B. Sure! Urging the ladies to "come and get some of this slow love" and whispering sweet come-hither lines on top of the thumping production.
'The Many Ways'
The Dave "Jam" Hall-produced 'The Many Ways' continues the mid-album hot streak. The song, written by Al. B Sure!, is slightly reminiscent of the crooner's 1988 hit 'Nite And Day,' but strays from being a complete jacking of the classic. While only peaking at the No. 48 spot on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the song remains a fan favorite from the album.
'Love Was Here'
Usher shows off his balladeering skills with the hot and heavy number 'Love Was Here.' Co-produced and co-written by Al. B. Sure! and Kiyamma Griffin, the track is one of the more mature offerings from the LP and is an early indication of young Usher's future knack for bedroom-ready slow jams.