Album Reviews

Album Review: Omar – Sing (If You Want To) (Tru Thoughts)

By | Published on Wednesday 20 July 2011


Omar Lye-Fook, the British nu soul star who shot to fame 20 years ago with ‘There’s Nothing Like This’, re-releases his sixth album, ‘Sing’, via Tru Thoughts, with two added bonus tracks.

The album is diverse and still sounds fresh, and from the sunny intro of ‘Lift Off’ we have an idea of where we are heading. The title track is more typical of what you might expect from Omar, featuring lush vocals over a pleasant R&B backdrop. But elsewhere he steps it up a gear with tracks like ‘It’s So’, which has some afrobeat elements to it. The highlight for me, though, is ‘Feeling You’, featuring Stevie Wonder in a polished funky number.

There are other collaborations too. ‘Be A Man’ features JC Bentley in an odd form of duet which kind of works. Estelle helps out by delivering an anti-gun message over very heavy beats on ‘Lay It Down’, which is well crafted and not condescending. ‘Stylin’ features Angie Stone on vocals, but is probably the weakest of the album’s tracks, and their combination works better in the laid back funk of ‘All for Me’.

On the bonus tracks, Zed Bias (aka Maddslinky) goes tribal tech on ‘Dancing’ (a track which is tearing up 1Xtra’s playlists), but the Bob Sinclar remix of ‘Its So’ isn’t that exciting, as Sinclar opts for his same ol afro-house formula. Still, there are no complete flops on this album, even in its expanded form.

I missed this record the first time, so I am very glad Tru Thoughts have had the sense and passion to give this quality work wider exposure. Recommended. PV