2022, 4×12″ LP, FXHE Records.
Omar Alex Smith’s development as an artist is such that these days, it’s hard to predict what he’ll put out next, musically speaking. Can’t Change, his first album for two years, is a great example of this. While there are examples of his trademark hypnotic, driving, heavily electronic Motor City house sound (see ‘Whale Sex’, ‘Inner Love’ and the acidic ‘My Momma and Ned Say You Don’t Have To’), these rub shoulders with tracks that more expressly explore his different inspirations, as well as nods to Detroit musical history. The results are predictably impressive, with our picks including the jazzy, soulful and sun-kissed dancefloor pressure of ‘Virgil’, the mutant R&B/hip-hop of ‘Bend Who’, revivalist piano house sing-along ‘Start This Over Again’ and a jaunty workout featuring vocals from UR’s ‘Mad’ Mike Banks (‘Miss Hunn’ayy’). – Juno