Music Review: Omarion's "Ollusion"

1/12/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

Finally finding his right creative quarters at EMI, after asking to be released from both Sony BMG and Young Money Entertainment, Omarion brings us his third studio album, "Ollusion." The album cover displays Omarion’s first ever Parental Advisory sticker, an indicator that we are in for a more mature sexuality. While there is plenty of sexuality on "Ollusion," it is hardly a sexy album. In a musical environment where young male R&B artists are in abundance (Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Mario, J. Holiday, Trey Songz--just to name a few) and are accountable for several hits and a lot of airplay, Omarion might just get lost in the shuffle.

"Ollusion" suffers mainly from the slow to mid-tempo tracks that aim for sensuality. Some of the songs like “Last Night (Kinkos),” about a girl too fly to be working at Kinko’s, fall flat, leaving no impression at all. “Temptation” shows off Omarion’s vocal range a little bit, but the woman in the background whispering her wishes in Spanish does not lend to originality.

An interlude, entitled “Thee Interlude” and featuring Marques Houston, serves as an intro for the following track, a 5.5-minute  foreplay song that strives to be some sort of climax. “Wet” is not only another version of all the other songs reducing sex to candles, whipped cream and spanking, but the musical and vocal elements are seriously stifled. There is a lack of melodic arrangement and engagement that we like to see from artists like Omarion. The song is occupied by drums, snapping and whipping sounds, with Omarion supplies brief and repetitive vocal intrusions. Such an unimaginative song would best serve on an erotic film soundtrack.

"Ollusion’s" redemption comes from the songs with harder beats. The lead single, “I Get it In” featuring Gucci Mane, is a good springboard, with its sluggish, hip-hop heavy beats and lyrics. The elements blend in to create a song fun for the car or the club, which explains why it is experiencing moderate but steady success on  radio. It’s the kind of song you expect the fresh 25-year-old R&B singer that brought you “Ice Box” to put out. The second single, “Hoodie” featuring Jay Rock, is a very good follow-up, as it has a similar sound. The song opens with “Man, I’m fresh as hell in this hoodie,” and is basically about not having to do too much to be fly. The song also is pretty fly, very youthful and comes with a dance-inducing video dedicated to Michael Jackson.

The best song on the album is “Speedin,” a measured song about finding a way back to love. It demonstrates the more emotional and persuasive Omarion, the Omarion of “Ice Box” and “O,” the Omarion R&B fans are eager to hear.

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