To mark the 20th anniversary of Usher’s iconic ‘Confessions’ album, we’ve rounded up our favourite 10Trax from the project.

With the currents of popular culture constantly shifting, artists often find their work submerged in the vast sea of begotten trends. As tastes shift and preferences alter, creating music that will stand the rest of time can be a daunting task. But, for Usher, the moment he translated his personal experiences onto paper and dropped his Confessions album, he knew that it would stand popular culture’s most drastic turns.


Dropped in 2004 as his fourth studio release, following bursting onto the scene with his self-titled 1994 debut ‘Thinking of You’, Usher’s Confessions, was and still is a kaleidoscopic journey through a blend of ballads and up-tempo tracks, intertwining hints of dance, pop, hip-hop and crunk with his signature R&B charm. Yet, the album’s most compelling aspect lies in Usher’s conviction that a great album is all about good storytelling. And such storytelling is always better influenced by real-life experiences.


Let’s take it back to the noughties; in 2004, Usher wasn’t fully committed to the idea of marriage—a sentiment he openly shared with the press. This stance turned arguments into fissures with his girlfriend at the time, Rozanda ‘Chilli’ Thomas whose desire for commitment led to their eventual breakup.


While many speculate that Confessions was inspired by Usher’s personal experiences and post-breakup struggles, he never confirmed this. Instead, he let the rumours fester, leveraging the buzz to create one of the most flawless concept albums of the decade.


Overflowing with unabashed vulnerability and utmost authenticity, Confessions brilliance lies in its masterclass in storytelling. While guesswork swirled around the album’s inspiration, Usher’s adept manipulation of media frenzy revealed a gifted raconteur. What happened with Chilli wasn’t the point; rather, it was his skill in channelling the experience to create something that felt real that was the show-stopper.


To mark the 20th anniversary of Usher’s iconic Confessions album, we’ve rounded up our favourite 10Trax from the project.

'Yeah! (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris)'

‘Yeah!’ paved the way for the dancefloor bangers we have today. Uncomplicated with no frills, the track focuses on the thrill of flirting in a bustling club. With the dynamic duo of producer, Lil Jon and renowned rapper Ludacris at the helm, ‘Yeah!’ gleams with infectious pop hooks set against an addictive R&B beat, guaranteed to get anyone ready to hit the dancefloor. It’s no surprise that this chart-topper reigned supreme on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 consecutive weeks.

'Truth Hurts'

Sultry and smooth, ‘Truth Hurts’ exudes a flood of charm. Despite its initial innocence, it becomes quickly apparent that Usher is toying with us as he unravels lyrics portraying his flaws and then dares us to believe him.

'Bad Girl'

Marking a turning point in Usher’s artistry, ‘Bad Girl’ sees him depart from his R&B roots and delve into the world of soul. Filled with funky grooves and contemporary soul offerings, the track exudes authentic swagger. The electrifying guitar riff is simply infectious, accompanying Usher’s pursuit of an adventurous woman.


Dethroning ‘Yeah!’ from the US Billlboard’s top spot, ‘Burn’ is the R&B ballad that we all need in our lives. Marking Confessions second song, the slow jam is centred on the painful emotions that come with the realisation that a relationship is coming to an end. We can only imagine that the song was inspired by Usher’s own breakup with Chilli, as he bares his soul over a backdrop of Atlanta-rap infused R&B.

'Confessions Part II'

Ever seen the domino effect in action? Well Usher fans have especially with ‘Confessions Part II’ knocking out ‘Burn’ for number one spot (after ‘Burn’ previously dethroned ‘Yeah!’). But there’s a reason for this upheaval— ‘Confessions Part II’ pulls no punches. Usher confronts his girl with brutal honesty, confessing his infidelity, including impregnating another girl, all against a backdrop of a sticky guitar line that piques your ears from the get-go.

'Follow Me'

Whisking up a rhythm and sound in-between soul, trap and R&B , ‘Follow Me’ sees Usher in full-blown crooner-mode. Through seductive tongue in cheek wordplay Usher beckons for us to join him as he searches for a meaningful relationship.

'Take Your Hand'

To a groovy bassline and trumpet accents, ‘Take Your Hand’ is your daily dose of confidence and unapologetic swagger. We hear Usher openly wrestles with the decision of whether to “take your hand or let it go?” as he weighs up the pros and cons of whether or not to follow his lover.

'Throwback (feat.Jadakiss)'

A heavy hip-hop banger, ‘Throwback’ sees Usher sample Dionne Warwick’s iconic ‘You’re Gonna Need Me’ whilst he cries out to his woman—who left him due to his cheating—regretting his past decisions. Originally produce by Just Blaze for Dr Dre, it was Dre’s shifting commitments that led to Blaze giving the record to Usher.

'Caught Up'

Delivering his electrifying performance of ‘Caught Up’ during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, the overwhelming reaction from the crowd only proves the tracks true longevity. Boasting an infectious melody, earworm chorus and a funky rhythm filled with pop nuances, the track’s energy is impossible to resist, as it’s strut-worthy upbeat tempo compels you to groove along.

'My Boo'

Saving the best for last, ‘My Boo’ stands as an iconic duet with GRAMMY Award-winning artist, Alicia Keys. Infused with elements of hip-hop, the R&B track holds a mid-tempo melody, as Keys brings her unabashed swagger juxtaposed against Usher’s soulful vocals. Dominating the US Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, the duo portrays a former couple reminiscing on their time together reflect on their time together.


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