Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Omarion's "O" is where he gives notice that he'll take over Usher's job in about 5 years. Right now, O's the black Usher - by which I mean he's where Usher was, career-wise, 6-7 years ago: a black star who most of white America doesn't know he exists. But they will. "O" is also a lovely, open ballad, sold on O's personality, which oozes from each of his pores (and you can even tell that from his singing, trust).

"Touch," meanwhile, is the sound of the Neptunes taking Omarion down the less-well-lit road that runs parallel to Justin's. This is a slightly off-kilter, darkly-produced R&B record, the perfect counterpoint and follow-up single to "O." There's a sinister undercurrent here, akin to the look in J.T.'s eyes in the "Cry Me A River" video (and yes, I know that particular song was produced by Timbo, and that's not the point). Listen to the way Omarion does his spoken-word bits on "Touch," and you may well get it. This is a superstar in the making.

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