Omar Apollo can do it all. Taking his songwriting to the next level, his debut album, IVORY finds him blurring the lines between genre and language in a way that feels complex yet effortless. Throughout the album’s sixteen songs, Omar Apollo explores 90’s-inspired sultry R&B, indie rock, Latin trap and even a track that feels like a folk ballad, and he does it with ease.
Omar Apollo is unafraid to charge headfirst into seemingly any genre, and it never once comes off as half-assed or gimmicky. Rather, every single track on IVORY feels fully fleshed out and created with great care. Opening the album is “Talk,” an atmospheric pop song carried by strong guitar and bass, followed quickly by the short yet sweet “No Good Reason,” which is spearheaded by a simplistic beat and auto-tuned vocals. Songs like the sizzling R&B standout “Killing Me” sit easily alongside the twinkly pop song, “Go Away,” while just a few songs later, Omar Apollo shape shifts into a soulful folk singer on “Petrified,” which showcases his spectacular vocal prowess.
One of the album’s many highlights comes just a few songs later on the finger-plucked, “En El Olvido”, which feels like a modernized version of a Juan Gabriel song. Not only does the track serve as a stunning tribute to Apollo’s Mexican heritage, but it also manages to flow perfectly into the following track, “Tamagotchi”, showcasing two very different eras of Latin music. In doing so alongside English pop and R&B tracks like the jaw-dropping ballad, “Evergreen” or “Bad Life” featuring Kali Uchis, he manages to easily merge genre and language in a way that will be accessible to any of his fans.
With IVORY serving as merely the pushing-off point for Omar Apollo’s career, it’s clear that he is destined for greatness. With emotionally vulnerable lyricism and a knack for merging sounds in a way that feels fresh but not forced, it’s safe to say that Omar Apollo is on his way to becoming a household name.