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The cover of Tunsi’s latest effort, The Omen, is a stark picture of a plastic doll baby staring dead into your face. It’s slightly disturbing because of the intense, piercing look on the face of what should be a lifeless object. It may prompt you to ask what the artist was going for with this picture; what he was trying to say. It’s also pretty damn cute. I mean, come on, it’s a plastic doll with a deathly serious statement.

Just as with the cover of the album, it’s hard to make out what to think of the album itself. There's definitely a contrast at work in these 25 tracks, but this is not the kind of contrast an artist should strive for. There are certainly moments of brilliance to be had on The Omen, but they're almost always marred by an inability to see those ideas through. And every once in a while... well, it gets a little amateurish.

Tunsi can not have anything taken away from him as far as creativity goes. He touches on all subjects with this release, ranging from dehumanization by technology ("Hidden Signals"), to the corruption of authority figures ("Me and Sam"), and all the way back to good old mic-ripping ("Done Done It", the album's most complete track). This is definitely a man with a lot on his mind, he and his guest emcees rhyming with a sense of conviction and urgency on each track. If an album could be judged solely on these traits then we'd be coming away with something special.

Unfortunately, desire is not enough to see an album through. There seems to be a lack of technique to the proceedings; all power, not enough follow through. The music on each track is inconsequential; many times beats will start the song off and go on throughout without changing significantly to imply changes in mood. That would be a minor knock, except that the rhyming itself falls flat occasionally, and the constantly repeated hooks can get old. Adding to this, in a truly inexcusable error, we're forced to sit through a series of rap "skits" that are either unfunny or incomprehensible (The cheesy use of lines from "Full Metal Jacket" shouldn't have even seen light).

The Omen isn't a bad album, really, just an album that could've used a little more fine-tuning and polish. The foundation is there; Tunsi is not some fly-by-night and The Omen is at least worth a few close listens. Now it's up to him to build on what he's started. When that happens, we'll know exactly what to think of a Tunsi album.

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