Throwback Thursdays: Omar, “There’s Nothing Like This”

May 26, 2011

Words by Martei Korley


Hearing Omar sing over the staccato yet laid-back bass lines of ‘There’s Nothing Like This” for the first time circa 1990, “This cat’s got style” was the only thing that came to mind. He weaved an aural tapestry with the ease of a Ronald Isley, but with a very modern feel. Omar Lye-Fook rose to become a star of the UK soul scene with this song, continuing a family tradition. His Jamaican father was a bandleader and founded the imprint Kongo Records, on which “There’s Nothing Like It” was first released. Bringing things back full circle, the song’s riddim was subsequently used by none other than Junior Reid. The “One Blood” singer re-recorded The Mighty Diamonds performing “I Need A Roof” over the track on a remix for his J.R. Productions label, creating what was perhaps the first neo-soul mash-up to emerge from Jamaica. As was appropriate for such a wistful song, the sepia-toned video taps into the carefree feel of a childhood summer.