On “I Don’t Know,” a man resists the temptation to commit crimes and carry a gun. “Without U” proclaims love for a special lady, however . . .
Young Usher Raymond pines, “Can’t sleep without you by my side,” suggesting a sexual relationship. Such below-the-belt fixation permeates this CD. On the hit “U Remind Me,” the frustrated artist indicts a former girlfriend for “sexin’ everybody but me.” Nightclubs provide the backdrop for prowling males looking for one-night stands (“Hottest Thing,” “U Are the One,” “How Do I Say”). “Can’t Let U Go” soft-peddles domestic violence within a sexual come-on. Despite being in a committed relationship, Usher, after running into his high-school lover, considers bedding the old flame (“I got a girl now and she’s right upstairs/But I must admit I’m tempted and startin’ not to care”). Orgasmic groaning punctuates “Twork It Out,” an explicit proposition. Several tracks add alcohol to the mix. Usher’s unbridled ego finds him boasting that he can charm any girl he desires (“If I Want To”). Tracks also suffer from inappropriate language, including partially bleeped f-words on “U Got It Bad.”
The disc’s cryptic title is really nothing more than its release date of August 7, 2001. This smoothie’s ruttish motivation, however, requires less decoding. The 22-year-old singer/actor is a narcissistic predator ruled by a common contemporary idol: his own libido.