There’s nothing like it when it comes to UK Soul legend Omar and if you listened to the latest Gilles Peterson show you’ll know that Omar’s latest album is monster when droppin’ names like Estelle, Angie Stone and Stevie Wonder!
Fast forward about 15 years and Omar releases Sing (If You Want It) on an up and coming label called Ether that released some fabulous albums by artists like Silhouette Brown and Bruno E plus Gilles’ own compilations In Africa, The BBC Sessions (Vol. 1) and Sunday Afternoon At Dingwalls to name just a few. So it’s hard to figure why they went bust at all but that they did, a week after Sing (If You Want It) came out! Omar’s 6th album promptly got lost in the Ether without much of a trace.
So, it’s fantastic that the good guys at Tru Thoughts loved it enough to acquire the rights and re-issue it this month with a couple of bonus tracks.
Apart from featuring artists of such standings as Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Estelle, Rodney P and many more, Omar was clearly at the top of his game and these 14 tracks are sounding very strong and not at all dated.
The title track is all about downtempo soul, the horny Latin-soul ‘Be A Man’ (featuring JC Bentley, where she now?) and the funky ‘Kiss It Right’ would be a suitable main course for most but prove to be high-class starters for the big hitters to follow.
‘Get It Together’ brings in some strings, the funk gets upped on the groovin’ ‘Your Mess’ al a EWF and out comes the sexy Sunday soul for the girls ‘Lay It Down’ (Estelle) and ‘All For Me’ (Angie Stone) . It’s a shame her appearance is so short but she returns on, the disco-funker ‘Stylin’. As an aside, I fell in love with Ms. Stone at the North Sea Jazz Festival some years ago when she was the face on all the posters all over Den Haag – “I’m lovin’ you” (again).
And if you’re still not convinced, ‘Ghana Emotion’, ‘Feelin’ You’ (the Stevie track) and ‘It’s So..’ are ALL top anthemic good time dancin’ boogie that are timeless, so you need this and that’s a fact!
And it’s not just me loving this as BBC DJ’s like Rob da Bank, Mistajam and Trevor Nelson have been playing it as have 1Xtra, Kiss and Choice.
With the bonus of Bob Sinclair’s Afro-So remix of ‘It’s So..’ (I’ll be playing this one, massive), this years’ hit single ‘Dancing’ and the album Make A Change with Zed Bias/Maddslinky (both on Tru Thoughts), you’ve got to expect big Omar revival this summer! Watch out for live dates soon.
Reviewed: Omar – Sing (If You Want It) (Tru Thoughts) Cat. No: TRUCD233 Released: 18th July 2011
1. Lift Off (1:44)
2. Sing (4:36)
3. Be A Man (4:39)
4. Kiss It Right (5:04)
5. Get It Together (4:41)
6. Your Mess (4:26)
7. All For Me featuring Angie Stone (3:42)
8. It’s So…. (4:28)
9. Gimme Sum (Rap Version) featuring Ashman, Cantibe, Common & Rodney P (4:47)
10. Feeling You featuring Stevie Wonder (4:45)
11. Lay It Down feat. Estelle (4:53)
12. I Want It (3:51)
13. Stylin’ featuring Angie Stone (4:46)
14. Ghana Emotion (4:54)
15. Dancing featuring Zed Bias (5:23)
16. It’s So (Bob Sinclair Remix)(6:43)
Gilles Peterson www.bbc.co.uk Omar with Gilles in the studio! – UK Soul legend Omar joins Gilles in the studio and talks about working with Stevie Wonder as well as his acting and his new album on Tru Thoughts
Omar In Conversation
Omar — It’s So…
Omar — Dancing
Omar — Feelin’ You
Soul Rebels Brass Band — My Time
Eddie Roberts & The Fire Eaters — Lope Song
22nd July 2011: DJ Simon S (Futuristica Music) playing at United80 where N’Damus/Hands On Music (Chris and Cyndi) celebrate their 1 year anniversary and the Brixton Village; Unit 80 Brixton Village 5th Avenue Coldharbour Lane SW9 8PS http://brixtonvillage.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/united80