Reviewing Omarion’s ‘Sex Playlist’ As It Was Meant To Be Reviewed
The soul singer wanted to accomplish something very specific. So did we.
Omarion is not the first R&B singer to come up with the name “Sex Playlist” (props Chrishan), but the B2K refugee is definitely the most committed to the conceit. His new album from Maybach Music, features a lot of synth, and bedboard-breaking backbeats. It seemed only appropriate that we give it a first listen while en flagrante; it is, after all, a soundtrack of sort. The experience, broadly, was positive, but we still have concerns.
Here’s a track-by-track take:
It’s clear right from the get-go that Omarion isn’t talking about pistoning some poor woman. He wants to make love. One imagines this title track was recorded in a room with large windows and wind-blown drapes. It sets a very specific sort of foreplay-heavy mood even if the lyric “Girl you don’t have to say shit” doesn’t sound as romantic as he thinks it does.
2. Post To Be
Bit more of a beat here. Encourages a more aerobic approach to coitus, but, between Chris Brown dropping some lady knowledge and the repeated use of the N-word, the song made me and my partner a bit uncomfortable. And, though we remain fans of Jhene Aiko, “He gotta eat the booty like groceries” is not a great phrase.
3. Show Me
This is some serious groove music. Very sexy stuff. No idea what Omarion is talking about, but he’s definitely helping me get back on track. The ear biting on the album cover is only the half of it.
The rhythmic complexity of this track is doing me absolutely no favors. It feels like a club anthem recorded under a duvet. It’s a weird song and not the least bit sexy. My partner wants to skip forward. She gets what she wants.
Feels like Omarion is trying to reboot this whole sexy franchise with more of a get-down sentiment and an uptempo approach. Definitely applaud the idea, but I’m 16 minutes into this thing so it’s a big ask. Time to really bear down.
6. The Only One
And we’re back to going slow. As much as I appreciate the breather, this is starting to seem schizophrenic. I don’t know what type of girls Omarion is bringing home, but my partner isn’t really digging the complex emotional arc of this session. Also, “I want to be covered in your lipstick and wearing your fragrance” is a bit on the nose. If that hasn’t already happened twenty minutes in, it’s probably not gonna happen. Omarion is like a less committed Sting. He’s not tantric, but he’s ungodly patient.
This song is just awful.
Someone take away Omarion’s Akai Drum Machine. No one can have sex at this speed. It’s inhuman.
“All up on your shore” is a completely meaningless lyric. And why is he putting “towels under the door.” Shit must be getting loud over at Casa Omarion. Not so much here. Maybe it’s because I keep stopping to type, but my partner seems to be losing interest.
10. Don’t Leave
If you consider pleading with a woman to stay to be part of a standard sexual encounter, you’re doing something wrong. That said, the sentiment feels right. She’s pretty bored.
11. You Like It
I do not. She doesn’t either, but we’ve come this far and we’re gonna see it through.
12. Love & Other Drugs
Vaguely romantic gibberish sung at a reasonable pace! I can work with this. Making some actual progress. Nothing climactic, but a late charge nonetheless.
The irony of this slow track’s title is underscored by the lyric “I’ve been so patient with you.” Really Omarion? Feels like we’ve been pretty damn patient with you. Screw this. We’re going to take a cold shower and listen to that goddam song from ‘Frozen.’
Photos by Photo: Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images