ALBUM OF THE DAY
Omar, “The Anthology”
By Sean Keating · January 30, 2020 Merch for this release:
Compact Disc (CD)

Over the course of the past four decades, Omar Lye-Fook has cemented his legacy as one of the most influential soul artists to come out of the UK. While he may not have enjoyed quite the same level of commercial success as some of the genre’s other British heavyweights, like Sade and Soul II Soul, his endlessly creative output has won lifelong fans the world over, as well as respect and admiration from some of the biggest soul icons in existence, and has provided the soundtrack to numerous generations in the process. 

The Anthology expertly showcases Lye-Fook’s artistic versatility, from the rich orchestration on more traditional-sounding soul tracks like “Last Request” and “I Love Being With You,” to his more electronic and hip-hop focused numbers, like “I Don’t Mind Waiting,” “This Is Not A Love Song,” and the carnival-influenced underground UK club smash “Its So.” The compilation’s sequencing allows the listener to follow Omar’s creative odyssey from his debut single, 1985’s “There’s Nothing Like This,” all the way through to more recent collaborations with legendary artists like the late Leon Ware, Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, and Robert Glasper. His immediately identifiable voice effortlessly glides through complex melodic and harmonic passages over consistently sophisticated productions. The collection is rounded out by two new offerings; the infectious “Pass It On,” featuring fellow British soul royalty Terri Walker, and “Long Time Coming,” which harks back to the sounds of classic Britfunk. The inclusion of these songs makes The Anthology more than just a comprehensive and robust retrospective—it announces loud and clear that Omar has a wealth of timeless new music yet to come.

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