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Review: Omarion - "21"

Grown and ... Sexy?

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating

By

Review: Omarion -

"Entourage" single cover © Sony/Epic

On his second solo album, 21-year-old former B2K member Omarion spreads his wings a little and does his best to prove that he's grown and sexy now. Grown? Yes. Sexy? Well, that's up to you to decide for yourself. But if Omarion's singing were as impressive as his washboard stomach and buff biceps, then 21 would probably be one of the better R&B albums of the year. Unfortunately though, O's physical fitness is far more advanced than his vocal ability. Although he tries hard and manages to get by, it's obvious that he lacks the vocal range and emotion to be considered anything more than an extremely ordinary performer.

"Entourage," "Ice Box"

There are two really good songs on Omarion's sophomore album, 21, and they just happen to be the album's first two singles and the very first two songs on the album. So that means after "Entourage" and "Ice Box," respectively, 21 goes slowly downhill.

First, the good: "Entourage" is a clever, sexy, party track with a fresh perspective. The song contains a few original pick-up lines, like "Baby I want you to be my entourage, you could be my personal superstar" and "I'll let you be lieutenant if you let me be captain."

The next track, the relationship drama song "Ice Box," is also clever and well-written: "I said I really wanna work this out, damn girl I'm tryin,' Its no excuse, no excuse, But I got this icebox where my heart used to be," Omarion sings at one point. The icing on the cake is the trademark skittering production by Timbaland, whose work has done more for singers in 2006 (Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado) than most traditional R&B producers.

But unfortunately, "Entourage" and "Ice Box" are pretty much all there is in terms of above-average songs. Most of the other 10 tracks aren't particularly clever and fall into the category of cliched rehashes. The production of the remaining songs is decent, but doesn't reach the heights of the first two tracks. And likewise, vocal quality of these songs range from average ("Obsession," Made For TV,") to fair ("Midnight," "Beg For It").

Although O's taken a step forward in establishing himself as an adult solo artist, he still hasn't completely arrived yet. But at only 21 years of age, he's still got plenty of room to grow.

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