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The Hits - Lemar

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Pop R&B / Artist: Lemar / Audio CD released 2010-03-08 at Epic

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      15.05.2010 21:08
      Very helpful
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      Advantages

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      Great UK singer

      **Introduction**

      Lemar Obika came to the Public's attention when he featured in the BBC's Fame Academy back in 2002. Before he was in Fame Academy he was actually signed to BMG but the record deal fell through despite supporting the likes of Destiny's Child, Total, Uncle Sam and Usher Raymond. During the Fame Academy series Lemar was in my opinion the most talented member of the contestants and after coming third in the Academy he soon signed a £1m deal with Sony Music after supporting Beverley Knight at her Concert at Hammersmith Apollo.

      After the release of his debut album "Dedicated" in 2003 He has now gone on to release a total of four albums and has gained a reputation as one of the best Soul performers from the United Kingdom. He has worked with some other top UK Soul performers most notably Joss Stone and Mica Paris. In 2010 he released his greatest hits album which features tracks from all four albums as well as some bonus tracks which include a reworking of "What about Love" which features JLS.

      **The Album**

      1 Dance (With U)

      This track kicks things off with a catchy funky feel. This was the first track on his debut album and was a very successful single when released. It's a great track to tap your feet to as it moves along with a decent flow and Lemar's vocals are smooth and expressive. This is one of his more impressive up tempo tracks from his debut.

      2 50/50

      Another one from his debut here and this is another catchy up tempo track. It opens with a taut beat and relaxed feel and soon gets into full flow with a soulful vibe. This track is about confronting your partner when you hear rumours of them cheating. I really like the backing vocals on the track which add a nice soulful feel. Another good track to start.

      3 Another Day

      The first ballad on this collection and this was also on his debut album, This is a really emotive track which tells the story of missing someone so much after a breakup and not wanting to be without them after realising how much they meant. This really brings out Lemar's fine voice and his emotive delivery really gets the lyrics across. Great stuff.

      4 Lullaby

      This was a song which was co written in the Fame Academy House by Lemar with fellow contestant Ainslie Henderson when they had to get into groups of two and write a song together. I really like this version and thanks to the Gospel Choir it gets a nice lift. This track was a big hit in Fame Academy.

      5 If There's Any Justice

      This track is taken from the second album "Time to Grow" which was released in 2004. This is a vibrant mid tempo ballad about looking at someone you have feelings for who is with someone who is not good for them and does not treat them well. Lemar really shows off his vocal talent on this track and also his ability to develop a song. Great track.

      6 Time To Grow

      This is a really beautiful piano led ballad which is the title track from his second album. Lemar really shows his emotive vocals here on this track about coming through a relationship that has ended and overcoming it for the better and moving on with your life. I love the string background which gives a beautifully emotive gloss to the overall feel of the track. This is one of his best ballads. Great stuff.

      7 It's Not That Easy

      This is the first track on this Hits collection from the third album "Truth about Love". This really shows off his ballad side and marks a move to the more Soulful R&B which he was always destined for. This is a lovely flowing ballad about feeling lost without someone after the breakup of a relationship. I'm sure you have felt this at some point in your life after a breakup. This is another track which features a great use of a Gospel Choir.

      8 Someone Should Tell You

      Another track from his third album and this is another lovely ballad, This track sees Lemar in a really confident vocal performance. The story of this track is about reaching out to someone and showing how much you really love them. This is one of the best ballads from Lemar and showcases his vocal talent and also his talent for developing a song too. Great track.

      9 If She Knew

      This is featured on his last album "The Reason" and sees a slight departure from the previous album with a more electro R&B sound thanks to the production team of SoulShock & Karlin. This is a catchy mid tempo track which has a great flow and shows the variety of styles with which Lemar can work with.

      10 Weight Of The World

      This is a funky up tempo joint which is co-produced by Jim Jonsin and Louis Biancaniello. This track features a thumping beat and some great background sounds. Lemar is in fine voice with a very strong vocal performance which shows his power and range in equal amounts. A very good up tempo track.

      11 Mayday

      This is one of the best tracks from his fourth album "The Reason". It features gentle piano to begin with and then a taut beat comes thumping in. This really adds to the feel of the song. This is a really lovely ballad which has a sombre feel about the resignation that comes when you realise a relationship is over. Awesome track.

      12 The Way Love Goes

      This one is the first of the new tracks and is a catchy dance tinged track which I am not overly keen on, certainly not as keen as the previous tracks on this collection. It's a decent up tempo track but sounds a little too much like middle of the road JLS filler. I suppose it would get a decent reception in the club though when you want to dance.

      13 You Don't Love Me

      This is a catchy up tempo track which has real fast paced feel and contains a sample of The Supremes classic. "You keep me hanging on". This is a nice addition to the album and adds to the variety of the Lemar's music.

      14 Coming Home

      This is a much better up tempo dance track than "The Way Love Goes". It's a flowing mix of a good beat and some catchy electro sounds with Lemar's relaxed vocals over it. Not as good as his ballads but this track does deserve to be on this collection as a new track.

      15 What About Love? (Feat. JLS)

      I am not a big fan of JLS so when I heard about this track I was a little sceptical as I love the original version of this track which appears on Lemar's debut album. I was thankfully surprised however when I listened to this as I really liked the arrangement. The music is the same and Lemar's vocals are as good as ever but the addition of JLS in the background really adds a nice touch. A wonderful collaboration.

      **Overall**

      Lemar is four albums into his Music Career and shows no signs of letting up. His voice is probably the best UK Soul male vocal around and his music has decent variety and his ballads are really emotive. This collection hints at more to come. His last album was in 2008 so It shouldn't be too long until he releases album number five. On this evidence, I can't wait. This just avoids getting a five star review from me due to a couple of the choices and the new tracks compared to others that have been omitted from the collection.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Dance (With U)
      2 50/50
      3 Another Day
      4 Lullaby
      5 If There\x{2019}S Any Justice
      6 Time To Grow
      7 It\x{2019}S Not That Easy
      8 Someone Should Tell You
      9 If She Knew
      10 Weight Of The World
      11 Mayday
      12 The Way Love Goes
      13 You Don\x{2019}T Love Me
      14 Coming Home
      15 What About Love? (Feat. Jls)