Me 4 U


(CD - Sony BMG / Sony Music / Ultra Records #515383)

Review by David Jeffries

Omi's runaway hit "Cheerleader" is an odd duck. The light reggae single was moderately successful in the singer's homeland of Jamaica, where it charmed the locals with its light lilt and its Kevin Lyttle-like and Rupee-esque vibe, but then a Felix Jaehn Euro-flavored remix made it the number one vacation track in cities like Miami, Dubai, and other places where well-to-do resorters hang out. One listen, especially with fruity drink in hand, and the track becomes a keeper, as does the album it lands on, although it should be said that Me 4 U is generally more authentic, smooth, and chilled than the "Cheerleader" remix. Omi delivers this all in a wonderful voice, falling somewhere between roots star Tarrus Riley and the aforementioned Lyttle, and when it comes to Island authenticity, the singer turns to the same great guest Nicki Minaj chooses, dancehall singer Busy Signal, who kicks "Color of My Lips" up a notch or two. "Fireworks" is a sexy soca number that R. Kelly could cover, while the title cut is a warm and powerful duet with Sarah West, although she doesn't get a feature credit on the album like Busy, Erik Hassle, and AronChupa do, even though she certainly deserves one. For a rushed-to-market, crossover album capitalizing on a global hit, the pleasing Me 4 U is much more well-built, well-paced, and well-rounded than expected.

blue highlight denotes track pick