Shahidah Omar’s debut is “Freedom” from the musical masses

One look at the cover of her debut album, and one might automatically assume that she’s probably just like any other pop star on the radio.  But everyone knows what assuming does.  We won’t go there.  Just one listen through “Freedom” and listeners will hear that this young up and coming pop star has an album with all the pop sensibility that will make her a star on Top 40 pop radio nation wide, without losing her identity.  The album’s opener, ‘Live My Dream’ is a bold statement from Miss Omar that clearly states she hasn’t lost her identity by any means.  She sings on the song, “I wanna go real high\I wanna live out loud\I’m gonna reach inside\I’M GONNA LIVE MY DREAM.”  It’s a wonderful, uplifting opener to an album that’s filled with emotions and social commentary.

“Freedom” opens with a great up-tempo piece that’s sure to be a radio hit, if it already isn’t, in ‘Live My Dream.’  That song is only one part of what makes Shahidah Omar’s debut album the unexpectedly impressive work that it is.  Rather than simply being another pop or R & B album, she sings about more than just breakups or emotions.  She also includes some social commentary here and there, all while blowing listeners way with her vocal range.  On ‘People of the World’, Omar sings with a voice that seems to combine the best elements of Billie Holiday and Macy Gray.  She also does something that audiences would never expect to hear from a pop artist.  She actually shows off her operatic singing ability.  That one song alone is anough to make one believe that should her pop carer not pan out, she would definitely have a career as a professional opera singer.  Her vocal abilities are that amazing on this piece.

Shahidah Omar has wonderful pop sensibilities.  She also has an impressive vocal talent.  And she also has equally impressive musical sensibility in general.  The song, ‘Cold Inside’ is proof of that.  What could otherwise have been just another standard R & B/pop song is a song with so much more heart, simply for its music.  Rather than simply take the standard auto tuning and general pop route, Omar has crafted her own song that gives audiences a more realistic song to which they can relate both lyrically and musically.  She sing of not giving someone a chance because of past hurt in her life, rather than being just another breakup song.  She sings, “You took the fall for showing me love\Oh, Oh I\Thought you were pretending when you cried\I cry~~\\Cause baby it’s cold inside\Since I let you go\Oh baby it’s cold inside\Need youto keep me warm at night…And if you come back\I will be good baby\Cause I know you were good for me.”  The song continues in this fashion.  She is singing of realizing that she let her past keep her from a potentially happy future.  Who hasn’t ben there.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to let go of the past.  And it can hurt us.  That Add in that this piece doesn’t come across as just another  one of those stereotypical songs, and audiences get one more piece of what is overall quite the opus.

Now for fans who want to check out Shahidah Omar live, they’ll get their chance this Summer as she’ll be performing once more at the famed Bonaroo Festival.  The festival runs this Thursday, June 7th – Sunday, June 10th.  Fans can also keep up with her online at, on Facebook at, on Twiiter at, and on myspace at

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