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Album review: Omarion, "Ollusion"

By Sarah Godfrey

Singer Omarion managed to carve out a decent solo career for himself following the 2004 breakup of his teen R&B group, B2K: He recorded a couple of decent solo albums, picked up a few movie roles and became a fixture on the throat-lozenge-enabled Scream Tours.

But O may have finally made his first significant career misstep: Last year he backed out of a deal with Lil Wayne's Young Money -- the label home of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Wayne himself -- abandoning a spot on one of the most talked about hip-hop/R&B rosters in recent years. Instead, Omarion created his own Starworld Entertainment imprint and has released "Ollusion," an attempt at a more mature sound. But nearly every song is a flat paean to getting it on, any of which would benefit greatly from a Drake or Weezy guest verse.

("Penthouse letters set to sputtering dance tracks," after the jump.)

"Ollusion" carries an unlikely explicit-lyrics sticker -- turns out Omarion's idea of creative maturity translates into Penthouse letters set to sputtering dance tracks. That's the formula for "I Think My Girl Is Bi," and "Last Night (Kinkos)," which finds Omarion testing the load-bearing capacity of a copier machine.

Relief comes only when the singer forgets himself and reverts back to his playful boy-band days. He sounds loose and joyful talking about his favorite item of clothing ("Hoodie"), and when he chirps along with silly grade-school sound effects -- the "vroom-vroom" of a car engine on "Speedin' " and the "beep-beep" of a siren on "Code Red" -- and when he stops trying so hard to deliver the big O.

Recommended tracks: "Speedin'," "Code Red"

By David Malitz  |  January 12, 2010; 7:30 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Omarion  
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