Omar : Be Thankful

Angie Stone duets with Britsoul's sidelined hero...

With Macy Gray collaborating with everyone from Common to Stevie ‘Fleetwood Mac’ Nicks, you’d be forgiven for wondering why Brit soul pioneer Omar hasn’t duetted with his like-minded American peers before. Well, having a record deal helps, and as the presence of Angie Stone on this track highlights, working with your American cousins is fraught with creative frustrations.

As owners of his ‘Best By Far’ CD will note, the album version of this track features Erykah Badu, but record company laws being what they are, Omar couldn’t release their cover of the William Devaughan classic as a single, so he turned to the equally talented, and equally choosy collaborator Angie Stone (who, despite writing with a lot of talent, has only, latterly, teamed up with Prince for his stateside single release).

For this fresh re-recording you have a range of mixes vying for your attention: the Di Marco, the Soul Inside and the Dodge Mix which all retain an adherence to the original, while heightening the pace with dollops of funk, stuttering synth touches and – whaddya know – thudding basslines. It’s hard to distinguish the best of the bunch, as all suit the mood of the summer months and all illuminate Stone’s contrastingly sweet vocals against Omar‘s weighty burr. Glorious.

soul mama