Omarion – Ollusion
3.5 stars out of 5
Illusion; noun; 1) Something with deceptive appearance. 2) False idea. 3) Mistaken sensory perception.
So by Omarion naming his album Ollusion, one must conclude that he has a deceptive appearance, has false ideas and is gravely mistaken in his sensory (sight, sound, hear, etc) perceptions. I would be hard-pressed to disagree with that definition.
This album was a long time coming; in 6 months, Omarion changed labels like Lil’ Wanye changes baby mamas. He was released from Sony, then signed to Young Money but Wanye dropped him like he was hot (there were all kind rumors behind that, like his ex-partner “album collaborator” Bow Wow signed with them and had O booted), he was reported to be signed with EMI with the album being released via his StarrWorld Entertainment label.
Let me preface this by saying 21 was one of my favorite new school R&B/pop albums and it still gets major burn in the iPod. From the sounds of Ollusion, it doesn’t have to worry about being replaced anytime soon. Omarion has what I call the “Amerie Complex”; they sing everything full out from the depths of their soul and on the occasions where there is a well written, well produced song it can make you feel the rawness of the emotion and give you a hit BUT when the song is poorly written and produced (as many of the songs are on this album), it makes you notice all the imperfections of their voices.
This is the case on such songs as “Last Night (Kinkos)” and “Temptation”. The tepidness of the songs highlight Omarion’s inconsistent Alicia Keys-esque vocals which are part field holler part sinus congestion. “Wet” sounds like the cousin of Jeremih’s “Raindrops”. The intro to “Hoodie” makes me laugh and so does the line “I go so hard” — it’s a Drake type of “Jerk” sound that was better in theory than in practice.
“I Get It In” clearly was recorded in his Young Money days (literally LOL). I keep waiting for Lil’ Wanye to come in. It’s easily the most radio-friendly song on the album. “Speedin’” is the album’s 2nd single and sounds like something that fell of Chris Brown’s Graffiti (see “Crawl” ). Omarion puts his passion to good use on this track. The T-Pain produced mid-temp-shorty-let-me-buy-you-a-drink pt.50-11 ballad “Sweet Hangover” doesn’t break any new ground but after being so inundated with the many regurgitations of this song you find yourself singing along without even noticing.
Now initially when I heard “I Think My Girl Is Bi”, I hit up The IPS and told him this was a major fail, but the song grew on me tremendously and it has to be my favorite song on the album. The content is very taboo for R&B (which is a plus) & the music is a splice of Electrik Red’s “Kill Bill” and Lady Gaga’s “Monster”. Will it be a radio hit?…probably not, but I like the song (Don’t judge me, you don’t know my ipod!).
On a closer inspection Ollusion isn’t as “O’diculous” (as one reader said) as I initially thought. Is it his best album? No, 21 still holds that title, but with the standard of albums being released lately (i.e. Chris Brown, Trey Songz), Ollusion is the happy medium between the two. Sure, he has delusions-‘O-grandeur here and there, and the “beat it up/out/down” metaphor is tossed around more than a Chris Stokes allegation, but he has his moments when he can be “Olluminating”.