“Apolonio,” Omar Apollo’s newest nine song project, combines funk and bedroom pop to create a short, but well-rounded listen.
The album is littered with bass lines reminiscent of Parliament and “Apolonio,” seems like an ode to the iconic funk group of the 70’s, and to funk in general. In fact, Parliament member, Bootsy Collins, did a remix of Apollo’s lead single, “Stayback,” from the project, further affirming Apollo’s descent into the funk world. These influences are most notable on some of the stand out tracks like “Stayback,” “Kamikaze” and “Hey Boy.”
On “Stayback,” Apollo sings “If I could switch bodies, you know I’d change that, change that/ But you could never love me, so stay back, stay back.”
The reflection of Apollo’s insecurities and the feelings of being unloved and unable to be loved are common in young people.
He delivers these lyrics amidst a killer bass line which is continued in “Kamikaze,” a song that could be “Stayback’s” counterpart about the aftermath of the relationship Apollo sings about. Both tracks occasionally mirror each other, while still managing to showcase different aspects of Apollo’s lyrical and vocal abilities.
However, Apollo isn’t self-depreciative on the whole album. On the first track Apollo flaunts his success – “I’m makin’ M’s now, listenin’ to Stevie/ And the whip got autopilot, when I’m sleepy.”
Apollo, who came from a small town in Indiana, now feels the tangibility of his well-deserved successes. While it’s clear on the album that there are other pieces of his life that aren’t quite in place, this track is an indication of Apollo’s ability to allow himself to enjoy his achievements, despite others trying to drag him down.
Apollo’s sultry vocals blend perfectly with the instrumentals on the record, exemplified in “Dos Uno Nueve.” This song is backed by Spanish guitar instrumentals which serves as a departure from the other tracks on the album. This is a refreshing change up, for at times, the tracks tend to blend together, making them less distinguishable.
Apollo’s vocals are able to shine through better in this track against bare acoustics and the listener is able to better appreciate his voice and Spanish lyrics. It also highlights the duality that Apollo has as an artist.
The album concludes with “The Two of Us,” which includes a brief guitar solo. The solo is a beautiful addition to the album as it connects Apollo’s reverberated vocal refrains. The only lyrics sung are, “Young and in love/ Got someone I can trust/ And I know that you can feel the two of us.”
While Apollo struggled to allow himself to accept and give love on “Stayback,” his conclusion to the album is a sweet and reassuring one. It shows that he is able to know he has someone to rely on and love.
Apollo offers a track for any different mood and provides an introspective album that allows listeners to understand him a bit better. His ability to cover such vast emotional ground and the alluring instrumentals are what make this a successful project.
Notable tracks: Stayback, Kamikaze, Dos Uno Nueve, The Two of Us