“ Genre: R&B & Soul - Pop R&B / Artist: Omarion / Enhanced / Audio CD released 2005-05-09 at Epic „
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Starting off as part of the Pop/R&B boyband B2K, Omarion went on to drop his debut solo album in 2005 once the four-piece had parted ways. The only one of the former act to find fame alone, "O" has him directing his music much more towards the R&B side as he shows how he has grown as an artist (starting-off as a child-star), to become a force in the R&B game. This time around he gains the support of Darkchild, Sean Garrett and The Neptunes for production as he wishes to do all he can to show he's past his old B2K days.
1. "I Wish"
He kicks the album off with a funky tune and one that livens up the atmosphere massively to get you ready for what else the album has to offer. On it, we have Omarion showing a little progression from his past work with B2K (in that it is much more R&B sounding but still retains lots of its Pop elements) and so it makes for a pretty fresh tune that is of the nature that would make a broad range able to easily access it and get all of its quality out of it.
Moving things on here, we see that he brings us into one of the album's singles. A Neptunes-produced one, it also has Pharrell Williams of the beatmaking pair writing and featuring as a backing singer (although uncreditted). I have to say that I felt little for this and thought it was only a mediocre tune on the thing.
The debut solo single from the singer, we see that here he makes a point to show just how different his music is to the sort of thing that we heard from him in the early stages of his career. Here he moves into some freaky stuff as he delivers a tune that has him showing just how well he's able to do the babymaking material and how he has grown as a person to make the sort of thing sound normal for him.
4. "I'm Tryna"
A pretty decent one here, on this one we find that Omarion chooses to come with a track that has him singing about his heartbreak when he thinks on how the relationship that he's in is just falling apart and it's just not going the way it was supposed to (based on how it was at first). There's a lot to like about this one as we see that he approaches this album with much more mature themes to great effect.
5. "Drop That Heater"
Here we get a straight slapper as we see that he takes on the sort of sound that you would really expect to get out of a West Coast Hip Hop-influenced act. The Inglewood, California singer goes off with some hardcore club-suited stuff here and makes for one of the biggest tunes that you get on the album. He could have been criticised here for seeming to retreat to B2K-stlyed stuff, but it's too hardcore to care about that kind of thing.
6. "Growing Pains"
On this one we get more of the more serious stuff coming of him, and we find that he comes to perform a tune that has him singing on how growing out of B2K had changed him. I really didn't expect him to directly address this (especially for a whole album) but we see that he does a pretty good job at putting across the things that led to their breakup for a nice tune in the middle of the album.
7. "Take It Off"
Cory Bold takes over with the beats here and he comes to make us forget where we were on the last tune in order to blast out a track that has him getting back to the clubs. A banger of a tune, the production that you get from the introduction makes you completely change mindstate and right to the place where Omarion needs you to be before he goes off here (with aid from the female rapper Mila J).
8. "Never Gonna Let You Go"
The hits don't stop here as we find that on this one we get some straight Funk being thrown out there. Here we see that he takes us back towards the early eighties you some Boogie-Down material that he knows will hit any true fan of the time immediately. He recruits OutKast's Big Boi and he comes out with some fresh, southern flows which seem to match the direction of the music as he seems to be working towards what we heard in the funkdafied "Entourage" tune form his second album.
9. "I Know"
Although it seems the delivery of the vocals has been calmed down to some degree, we see that this really isn't the case where the beats are concerned as Tha Cornaboyz drop a some deep, grungy stuff to really make for a great contrast to the soft voice that Omarion possesses. It's a tune that you're likely to overlook, however I thought that it stood as one of the biggest from the thing for just how much is packed into it and how well it seems to fit together.
10. "I'm Gon' Change"
For this one we see that he's had enough of the club bangers, and so he makes an effort to switch things up and get back to singing about relationships. I thought that he did a pretty good job at things here and although it was a little hard to get such a sharp change in the flow of the album, the track takes you over and forces you to adapt to the altered direction of the music as he sings on how he will make changes in his life to please his girl.
11. "In The Dark"
Here we have him shifting back towards the sort of thing that we got on his "O" single as he gets into a little something that has him showing just how well he's able to attack the slow and seductive tunes. I thought that he really did a good job at it, and although it may not be able to compete with the earlier one of this style (never mind works from more established contemporaries) it sits well here.
12. "Slow Dancin'"
Here we get a very strong one and one that shows just how well he works with the producer to create atmosphere. Here he paints ideas in your mind as we get a club atmosphere taken out of a typical hyped scene into a much calmer one so that the singer is able to spot a girl and slowly approach her and get her in his arms so that they can get down the activities seen in the track's title.
13. "Fienin' You"
The album ends here as we get a heavy tune and one that seems to bring things to a relevant close without sounding as though we should have been given just a little more. It has him singing about how he's been away from his girl and now he's had enough of waiting and just wants to be with her so that he can get down to the sort of thing that he knows won't be as good unless she's involved.
I saw this as a strong album from Omarion and a great way to set-up the rest of his solo career, He packs a lot into this album and each stage along the way has him delivering some quality material that any R&B will get excited about. I can't see many flaws in it (aside from one dud single), and so there's no reason why a fan of R&B of that time shouldn't have it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Wish
4 I?m Tryna
5 Drop That Heater
6 Growing Pains
7 Take It Off (Feat. Milaj)
8 Never Gonna Let You Go (She?s A Keepa) (feat. Big Boi)
9 I Know
10 I?m Gon? Change
11 In The Dark
12 Slow Dancin?
13 Fiening You