Waterline is the debut single release of former JLS member, Oritsé Williams. The UK singer subtly re-emerged into the public sphere under the name OWS last year, and this anticipated single is the first significant insight into what the solo project is all about.
Rather than linger on JLS’s success, Waterline is a distinct new direction for Williams. Featuring dense, constant beats and soothing synths , OWS jumps into R&B territory and his sweet vocals in the upper register balance the bass. The chorus is definitely a strong point, with earnest lyrics: “Don’t let your heart slip out of mine/I know my heart doesn’t always show.” It’s one of those catchy hooks that you’ll try and imitate with your friends after a couple of drinks in your best falsettos but not quite pull off.
American hip hop artist Pusha T drops in with a verse which provides the track with some variety, and his style of rapping matches the pace of the tune perfectly. After a final chorus, the closing bridge gives the track a sombre finishing note. The drums leave the picture and emotional lyrics finish things off: “It’s all over now, I can’t get over that.”
Waterline is a solid first release by OWS. It’s an engaging track that you can really immerse yourself in, and it suggests he has picked a different path that may lead him to further musical success under a new guise.