My Way (Usher album)

My Way is the second studio album by American singer Usher. It was released on September 16, 1997, by LaFace Records in North America. The album features guest appearances from Monica, Jermaine Dupri, and Lil' Kim. The album was supported by three singles, all platinum-selling: "Nice & Slow", "My Way", and "You Make Me Wanna...".

My Way
My-way-usher-raymond.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 16, 1997
GenreR&B
Length40:21
Label
Producer
Usher chronology
Usher
(1994)
My Way
(1997)
Live
(1999)
Singles from My Way
  1. "You Make Me Wanna..."
    Released: August 5, 1997
  2. "Nice & Slow"
    Released: January 6, 1998
  3. "My Way"
    Released: June 9, 1998

With most of the album production by Babyface and Dupri, the album became a commercial success, debuting at number 15 on the Billboard 200 and peaking at number four. The album also reached number four on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and eventually topped the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart for three weeks. It was certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). My Way became Usher's breakthrough album and earned him a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "You Make Me Wanna...".

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide [2]
Q     [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [4]

In a contemporary review, The Source magazine said with My Way, "Usher proves that he's aiming to become more than just R&B music's best kept secret".[5] Asondra R. Hunter from Vibe said that Usher is sensual through his mild and gentle tone and tasteful, refined lyrics.[6] Robert Christgau, writing in The Village Voice, cited "Just Like Me" and "You Make We Wanna..." as highlights, and quipped that Usher was "the sweetest nonvirgin a mama could ask".[7] He gave My Way a one-star honorable mention,[2] indicating "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like."[8] In a negative review for Rolling Stone, David Fricke felt that the album has too many downtempo songs, and criticized the writing and production quality.[9]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave My Way four out of five stars and praised Usher's vocal restraint, but noted inconsistency in quality.[1] In a 2002 review, Q magazine also gave it four stars and wrote that it established Usher's reputation as a young and skillful performer of R&B slow jams.[3] Keith Harris, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), gave it three-and-a-half stars and said that, although Dupri's combination of hi-hat hits, acoustic-guitar arpeggios, and occasional guest raps from him and Lil Kim can inhibit the album, My Way was the work of a significant, enterprising artist.[4] Yahoo! Music's Billy Johnson Jr. credited the album for Usher's breakthrough into the music industry, and lauded the production of the three singles.[10]

AccoladesEdit

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Complex The Best R&B Albums of '90s
36

Commercial performanceEdit

My Way debuted at number 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart dated October 4, 1997, selling 66,000 copies in its first week in the United States.[12][13] It entered the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at number four on that same week.[14] The album rose to number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums on January 10, 1998; it topped the chart for three consecutive weeks,[15] and remained on the chart for a total of seventy-five weeks.[16] My Way peaked at number four on the Billboard 200, and spent seventy-nine weeks on that chart.[17] It has since been certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over six million copies in the United States. As of 2002, it has sold six million copies in the United States and seven million copies worldwide.[18]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)ProducerLength
1."You Make Me Wanna..."
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:39
2."Just Like Me" (featuring Lil' Kim)
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:26
3."Nice & Slow"
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:48
4."Slow Jam" (featuring Monica)Babyface4:43
5."My Way"
  • Dupri
  • Seal
  • Raymond
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:35
6."Come Back" (featuring Jermaine Dupri)
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:47
7."I Will"
Williams3:55
8."Bedtime"BabyfaceBabyface4:45
9."One Day You'll Be Mine"
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
3:23
10."You Make Me Wanna..." (Extended Version)
  • Dupri
  • Seal
  • Raymond
  • Dupri
  • Seal*
5:19
Total length:40:20
Australian & New Zealand Tour Edition Bonus Disc Usher – Live
No.TitleLength
1."My Way"3:36
2."Think of You"2:15
3."Come Back"2:14
4."Just Like Me"3:24
5."Don't Be Cruel" (Intro)1:04
6."Every Little Step"1:53
7."Rock Wit'cha"1:41
8."Roni"1:55
9."Pianolude"3:32
10."I Need Love"0:32
11."Tender Love"1:13
12."Bedtime"7:06
13."Nice & Slow"6:30
14."You Make Me Wanna..."5:48
15."My Way" (JD's Remix)3:38
16."Nice & Slow" (B-Rock's Basement Mix)4:03
17."You Make Me Wanna..." (Tuff & Jam Dance Mix)6:45

(*) denotes co-producer.[19]

Sample credits

PersonnelEdit

Credits are adapted from Allmusic and album's liner notes.[20][21]

  • Babyface – executive producer; producer, background vocals, keyboards, and drum programming (tracks 4, 8); bass (track 4)
  • Butch BelAir – photography
  • Michael Benabib – photography
  • Kyle Bess – mixing assistant (tracks 4, 8)
  • Paul Boutin – engineer (tracks 4, 8)
  • Trina Broussard – background vocals (track 9)
  • Jermaine Dupri – executive producer, producer (tracks 1–3, 5, 6, 9, 10), mixing (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 9), instruments (tracks 1, 10), background vocals
  • Nathan East – bass (track 8)
  • Brian Frye – mixing assistant (tracks 1–3, 5, 6, 9, 10)
  • John Frye – mixing assistant (tracks 1–3, 9, 10)
  • Jon Gass – mixing (tracks 4, 8)
  • Serban Ghenea – engineer (track 7)
  • John Hayes – engineer (track 7)
  • Jagged Edge – background vocals (track 3)
  • Lil' Kim – vocals (track 2)
  • Trey Lorenz – background vocals (tracks 6, 9)
  • Manny Marroquin – engineer (tracks 4, 8)
  • George Meyers – engineer (track 7)
  • Monica – lead and background vocals (track 4)
  • Greg Phillinganes – piano (tracks 4, 8)
  • Herb Powers – mastering
  • L.A. Reid – executive producer
  • Ivy Skoff – production coordination (track 8)
  • Manuel Seal – co-producer (tracks 2, 3, 5, 6, 9), instruments (tracks 1, 10), background vocals (tracks 6, 9)
  • Shanice – background vocals (track 8)
  • LaKimbra Sneed – design
  • Phil Tan – engineer and mixing (tracks 1–3, 5, 6, 9, 10)
  • Usher – vocals (all tracks)
  • Randy Walker – MIDI programming (tracks 4, 8)
  • D.L. Warfield – art direction
  • Rob Williams – engineer (track 2)
  • Sprague "Doogie" Williams – producer (track 7)

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[38] Gold 35,000 
Canada (Music Canada)[39] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[40] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[42] 7× Platinum 7,000,000 

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b My Way – Usher. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved on June 24, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Album: Usher: My Way". Robert Christgau. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Review: My Way". Q. London: 148. August 2002.
  4. ^ a b Harris et al. 2004, p. 839.
  5. ^ "Review: My Way". The Source. New York: 174. November 1997.
  6. ^ Hunter, Asondra R. (October 1997). "Revolutions". Vibe. New York: 170. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 27, 1998). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Key to Icons". Robert Christgau. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Fricke, David (December 25, 1997). "Usher: My Way". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2013.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ Johnson Jr., Billy. "My Way". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  11. ^ "The 50 Best R&B Albums of the '90s". Complex. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Basham, David (December 13, 2001). "Got Charts? Usher's Platinum Mine; A Tolkien Spell; An Ill-Fated Concept". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  13. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 4, 1997. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  14. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. October 4, 1997. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Usher – Chart history: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  17. ^ a b "Usher Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  18. ^ Hopwood, Christian (2002). "Usher 8701 Review". BBC Music. BBC. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  19. ^ My Way (CD liner). Usher. LaFace Records. 1997.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  20. ^ My Way – Usher: Credits. Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved on June 24, 2013.
  21. ^ My Way (booklet). LaFace, Arista. 1997.
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Usher – My Way". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  23. ^ "Usher – My Way: Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporations. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Usher – My Way" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Usher – My Way". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  26. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  27. ^ "Charts.nz – Usher – My Way". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Usher – My Way". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Usher – My Way". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  30. ^ "Usher | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  31. ^ "Usher Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  32. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1997". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  33. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1997". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1998". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  35. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1998". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  36. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1998". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  37. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). "1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  38. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association.
  39. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Usher – My Way". Music Canada.
  40. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Usher – My Way" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Enter My Way in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  41. ^ "British album certifications – Usher – My Way". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  42. ^ "American album certifications – Usher – My Way". Recording Industry Association of America.

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit