- When artists get to a certain point in their careers, they usually seek out a change. Whether because of trends, a shift in personal circumstances or a fear of growing stale, creative renewals tend to occur in time-specific phases—Picasso's blue period, David Bowie's Berlin trilogy, etc. A lot of value is placed in this kind of artistic growth. On the other hand, Omar-S has done the same thing for more than ten years, and he remains one of the best. (Going by the title of his latest album, he seems to agree.) But how does he do it? Having the rich musical legacy of Detroit on his doorstep can't hurt. On "Cry Me A River," the B-side of his latest 12-inch, Omar-S summons a dusty, Motown-sounding record on its last legs. Following the recent example of "Seen Was Set," from The Best, and the older, Phyllis Hyman-inspired "Boot Hill," this cut takes comforting music and turns it into combustible dance floor fare.
But samples are only a small part of Omar-S's palette. "Desert Eagle" is more like the sort of rough-and-ready house he's known for. Glazing a gritty arpeggio and stuttered rim shots with smooth, opiate synths, this one has clarity: a memorable melody in one hand and an irresistibly nervous drum track in the other. A shade more subtle than some of his previous showstopping A-sides, "Desert Eagle" might not catch on in the same way that "Here's Your Trance, Now Dance!!" or Wayne County Hill Cop's (Part.2) did, but it's a treat all the same. And it's hard to get sick of these treats when they come in so many great flavours.
A Desert Eagle
B Cry Me A River