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    Tue, 22 Feb 2005 11:12:57

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    Album Reviews: O by Omarion

    Omarion's career didn't slow down after the breakup of B2K. In addition to playing Reggie in Fat Albert, he went about recording his debut album with an extended cast of producers. As with most other former boy-band members gone solo, Omarion makes an attempt to break from his teen-pop past by getting as racy and raunchy as possible -- “I don't mean no disrespect to you, but a n*gga really tryin' to f*ck with you" being one of the least upfront come-ons from “Take It Off." (Note: there is no parental advisory label on the album.) The content runs the spectrum of a relationship, though there's lots of courtship going on, carried by the expected assortment of ballads, mid-tempo grooves, and club tracks.

    Omarion is most effective when sticking to lighthearted summery funk like the Kool & the Gang-tinged “Never Gonna Let You Go (She's a Keepa)" (featuring an out-of-place drop-by from OutKast's Big Boi), and when he gets heavyweight assistance from the Neptunes (“Touch") and Rodney Jerkins (“Drop That Heater"). Had Omarion been less concerned with street credibility, realizing that it might be better to allow his young fanbase to mature along with him, this debut would've been more than satisfactory. - Andy Kellman

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