Omar Apollo Reaches New Heights on Apolonio

Omar Apollo is a pop star for the modern world.  The Mexican-American singer/songwriter has amassed quite a following since his debut in 2016 with his style of pop music that interlaces elements of R&B, jazz, and funk.  Following his 2018 EP Stereo and 2019 EP Friends, Omar Apollo is back with his latest project, Apolonio.

His previous work has drawn critical acclaim and comparisons to music legends like Frank Ocean and Prince.  Apollo appears to address these comparisons on the intro track, “I’m Amazing,” as he sings “I’m amazing, that’s what they tell me / I don’t think of that too much, it overwhelm[s] me.”  Apollo confronts feelings of anxiety, lost love, lust, and nostalgia throughout the project.  

 

Apolonio is an easy listen, featuring just nine tracks over twenty-six minutes.  The contemplative, dreamy project finds Apollo exploring his musical range and sound on several tracks.  His vocals on “Useless” are exquisitely filtered á la Damon Albarn, pairing excellently with the signature textured guitar riffs.

As usual, Apollo sings in both English and Spanish on multiple tracks, most prominently on the corrido-inspired track “Dos Uno Nueve (219).”  The title is a reference to the area code in his home state of Indiana, allowing the song to pay homage to both his Mexican background and where he grew up.  

 

The only two features on the album come from Kali Uchis (“Hey Boy”) and Ruel (“Want U Around”).  Both artists provide exceptional support, bringing new life into the tracks without overwhelming or outshining Apollo’s presence.

The project comes to a smooth conclusion with “The Two of Us,” featuring sharp guitar licks and layered vocals perfect for singing along to.  The repeated four-bar chorus never grows stale, as the bassline and drum loop keep the song moving splendidly.   

 

With his most polished project to date, Omar Apollo has positioned himself at the forefront of the future of pop music.  His creative and musical development on Apolonio shines through, leaving traces of a genre-bending icon in the making.  If you haven’t heard the name yet, be ready to hear it a lot.  

 

Favorite Tracks: Kamikaze, Want U Around, Useless, The Two of Us

Score: 8/10

Listen to Apolonio here, and be sure to check out the rest of Omar Apollo’s music.

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