dimanche 2 octobre 2016

Omar Afuni's back with a RUSH !

It has been some time but Omar Afuni's soon to be released third album gave me the need to post more than a couple of words to comment like I do now on facebook page alone, so here it is :

I've been lucky enough to be able to have a preview of Omar Afuni's full new album "RUSH", to be released on 7th of October, and it may have been 3 years since the release of his previous second album "Soundproof", one single listen and I'm back on board with his electronic and soulful pop music, a melting pot of different influences, but always led by his warm and powerful beautiful voice. I'm definitely hooked on this guy !

It started long ago with cover versions he posted on Youtube, then I bought his official releases, all self-written/produced and released independently via digital retailers, and even though he still hasn't reached the ultimate goal of international pop domination his talent deserves, I'm pretty sure he's followed by a huge mass of fans all around the world.
His new and third album, "RUSH", doesn't disappoint. Shorter than the previous ones with a tracklisting of 11 songs, it is focused and goes right to its target : our heart, using our ears and our feet to get us into the rhythm before his voice slowly penetrates our brains and delivers his message of love. "RUSH" starts with a pure retro diso/funky banger, "Lose control", and Omar Afuni achieves adjusting The Jacksons' heritage to the modern times with this sure-to-be single ! The beat is uptempo, the production sparkles like it had been made in the best californian studios, not Omar's homestudio, which used to be his bedroom at the start, coudl it still be ? The chorus is addictive and makes me want to jump and dance in the room to the crazy rhythm : it has HIT written all over it ! Then comes the official first single and title track "Rush", whose video has been released just a couple of weeks ago, and this one is a lot more R&B influenced than his previous work and what I like usually. More of a mid-tempo, it still has a tantalizing "hush-hush" vocal rhythm that gets me into the groove and the middle8 bridge has Omar going into high pitched vocals like I like before he gives us a full on rap part that suits the track very well, makin' it a modern and electropiece of urban pop, which can make him take by the hands a hundred/million/billion/zillion more fans ?
"Lies" starts with an hispanic but delicate guitar before a thumping rhythm starts and we're soon submerged by a warm chorus with "ho ho ho" parts that every pop/R&B hits of a couple of years back had. The spanish influence make it sounds different though and not robotic at all. The tempo slows down suddenly with the atmospheric intro of "This can't be love". Touches of keyboards echoes behind Omar's vocals but when the chorus starts, I've fallen under the spell of this ballad for the broken hearts, where his voice delivers all it can give in terms of emotions and deep feelings, with some oriental influences in bits. A little whisper and rock guitar solo punch it up some more for its last chorus so well that it ends too soon ! "Time to go" starts with piano and I feel I'm in for a romantic ballad but a powerful percussion rhythm starts and it sounds like some eurovision divo from mid-eastern countries, melting his oriental roots with today's modern pop. Once again, there's a rock guitar in it and it makes me feel Omar has been listening new kind of music to re-invente himself on his third offering because "RUSH" sounds different from what he's done ; it is still him, but from different angles in parts. "Dangerous" seems to go back in time like "lose control" did, except the time capsule opens up in the 80s this time, with synthé sounds and an uptempo beat that lead us to a gorgeous marvellous and dangerous chorus :) where Omar's voice goes everywhere he wants it to go. I like this retro one A LOT ! but it must push all the right buttons of the 80's pop addicted fan that I am... "Perfect" sees Omar strip himself down to just his voice and a piano, and it sounds just ...purrrfect! There's still some guitar near the end but this love song may be MOR radio friendly enough to be his crossover hit if released as a single. It will sure goes on and on and on on repeat on my iPod... "Anatomy" gives us the beat back, with a syncopated rhythm and some more R&B and oriental influences. Omar's voice once again shines on this one and the chorus is very good but it lacks maybe a repetitive hook to be more than an album song. "Thump" follows with some energetic rhythm and vocals and more south american influences. Has Omar travelled the world or is it just proof he's opened his ears to new ways to diversify his music ? No matter what because the result is appealing and this one breathes out feelgood happiness and positivity, the kind of song that sees everybody get up and dance with each other with BIG smiles on their faces, and this time again, it ends WAY too soon ! This one deserves an extended version ! "Spinning top" is another melancholic ballad with a painful feeling displayed by the rock guitar Omar has enrolled on board for his "RUSH" musical journey, so the party summertime feeling of the previous song is left behind and it sounds too hard for me to adjust to this new one after the mood the last one has put me into. "Saying goodbye" tells just what it is, the end of the album, and it is time for Omar to say goodbye to his listeners. This seductive midtempo does the job in a beautiful way, building a soulful and warm moment around Omar's "bye bye bye bye". It does still ends too soon and I would have liked some more songs to listen, but stil there's not a single filler here, just a couple of ones whose influences are less appealing to me than the others, and it feels just nice to be back in Omar Afuni's musical world, nursed by his warm charming and seductive voice, moved by his words and the way his voice goes up and down like a snake entering our ears and distiling to our brains his message of love and tolerance. Now you know what ? There's only one thing we can do : Click on the pre-order button to get this album as soon as it's released and Omar has an offer we can't refuse, a pre-order discount that must make you all rush before the 6th of October to get it for -JUST- 5.99€ and feel like being on his V.I.P. guest list :) http://smarturl.it/rushalbum