Review of Sing (If you want it) Album by Omar

Sing (If you want it)
Album Review

Omar Sing (If you want it) Album

Featuring new and established artists like Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Estelle, Rodney P, JC Bentley and Common and with work by his brother Skratch Professor, 'Sing (If you want it)' is definitely Omar's funkiest album to date. Its his sixth album in what has been a career at the forefront of the British Soul Music , he's often touted as the founder of the British classic nu-soul movement. Counting stars like Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder and Angie Stone as fans, Omar's five year hiatus has seen him start his own record label, build his own recording studio and recapture the essence of his love for the music. In his words: "I'm enjoying life so much right now, I play with great bands, there's always new music to make, new styles to blend, new people to reach…"

The title track 'Sing' is Omar reminding us why he's one of the best on the British soul music scene; catchy hook, the la la la's that bridge the verse and chorus and the hints of R&B/Hip Hop 'kicks-and-snares-but-essentially-steeped-in-soul' beats. He flips the style a bit by fusing some Latin Jazz Sax and conga's on 'Be A Man' and he almost immediately takes it to the blaxploitation era with 'Kiss it Right' -you can almost see Richard Roundtree/Shaft walking into a bar with this song in the background. He recalls musical favours done for Angie Stone as she performs on the mellow ballad 'All For Me' and the R&B infected 'Stylin' with what I think are more kicks and snares and bass thumps from Skratch Professor. My current joint favourite is 'Its So' where he expertly grooves to the sound of the African drums and the funky horns blaring but he doesn't lose the essence of what is Omar; the soul.

He employs his falsetto and the smooth rap flow of Common (Omar featured on one of the best songs off Common's self definition album 'Electric Circus'), Rodney P and Ashman on 'Gimme Sum' which is to be released as a single and features Estelle on the Anti-Gun track 'Lay It Down'. He calls in the legendary Stevie Wonder on vocals and keyboards on 'Feeling You'. Apart from the drawing power, what I think makes Omar a star in any books is his ability to feature so many other talented artists but you know you're listening to an Omar song on every track.

I can't decide if my favourite isn't really 'Ghana Emotion', a brilliant way to finish the album because its got it all; the saxophone, the salsa/Latin flavoured influence, some congas topped off with lyrics (in Omar's distinctive voice) that make you wish you were on a beach in sunny Ghana or just glad that summer is just round the corner; this is definitely a song that's going to be on my 'steady groove list' for the summer.

And it's a song that's a sure sign that Omar, who's been making music for the last 21 years and is fully in control of his music making direction presently, is loving what he's doing. I hope the fans love it to…

Album released on 15th May.

Seyi Fabode

Site -