Omar Apollo performing at The Found at The Fillmore Philadelphia in 2019

After what feels like an age of promising singles and EPs, Omar Apollo has finally bitten the bullet and released his debut album.

“Apollo does not beat around the bush at all”

The result is a captivating listen: an excellent body of work which centres the interweaving relationship between love, infatuation, and heartbreak. At 40 minutes, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter explores a lot of genres in an album which does not overstay its welcome. At his most confident and experimental, he tries out rapping — to a successful degree — on ‘Tamagotchi’, which tells the listener of his infatuation and desire to connect with a mystery person on a physical level. His lyricism is direct and confident, and Apollo does not beat around the bush at all (“I want your body, you want me too”). At his most vulnerable, he delivers excellent ballads outlining the heartbreak he has endured and how those feelings remain, with the album’s standout track, ‘Evergreen’, embodying this. The title of the song refers to the type of plant which retains its leaves all year round, and sees Apollo arguably reach his most honest point, with the singer not only disclosing to the listener of the painfully familiar scenario of being in love with someone who does not feel the same way, but also how these feelings persist as if they were leaves on an evergreen plant and the struggle attached with that.

Omar Apollo tries his hand at rapping on the confident and experimental 'Tamagotchi'YOUTUBE/OMAR APOLLO

Apollo also seamlessly slips into Spanish at times, tapping into his Mexican heritage across the album. Songs like ‘Killing Me’ and ‘En El Olvido’ (the latter of which is entirely sung in Spanish), crucially give this project much-needed authenticity. In a musical environment where so many artists wear their hearts on their sleeve and embrace heartbreak in a sullen and melancholy manner (Look no further than the fact that two of the biggest hits of last year, Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Driver’s License’ and Adele’s ‘Easy on Me’, are both hinged on heartbreak in some capacity), it becomes very easy to fall under the radar, yet Apollo somehow manages to rise above it all and distinguish himself.

“This album is the first time he’s truly confronted his feelings rather than simply going with the flow of things”

He puts in some great vocal performances too — whether it’s the beautiful falsetto of the fantastic ‘Go Away’, or the belting on acoustic ballad ‘Petrified’, he never fails to impress. Even with guest features from more established artists like Kali Uchis, Apollo tells his story as he has experienced it, and there is never a moment where the album’s material feels impersonal. In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Apollo mentioned how this album is the first time he’s truly confronted his feelings rather than simply going with the flow of things, and the fact that he remains in the driving seat for the entire project’s run only confirms this.


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The influence of artists more popular than Apollo, like Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy can definitely be heard across the album. The comparisons hold true, in that they are versatile and blend many different styles of music to such an extent that it becomes hard to class their sound under a certain genre (alt-pop and alt-R&B are thrown around a lot when it comes to these artists, but even then said tags fail to satisfy the forward-thinking nature of the music they release). What can be agreed on, though, is that Apollo has proven himself more than able to carve his own niche and deliver a project that is authentically him.

All in all, this debut album proves that Omar Apollo is the real deal. Expect to see this project on a few year-end lists, and one can only hope that it catapults him into the mainstream — this album truly merits such a response. An impressive effort and a tremendous formal introduction to the world.