Album Review: Ivory — Omar Apollo

Morgan Dalton, Online Editor

Born to Mexican immigrants in Hobart, Indiana, Omar Apollo has made a musical career of his bilingual upbringing. His fusion of Spanish and English lyrics, pop and traditional ranchera style create a unique blend representative of his multicultural roots. In his first album, “Ivory,” Apollo blends sad, melancholic songs with his vocal skills, showcasing beautiful, clear high notes. 

“Ivory,” the first track, is barely a minute long and is a fantastic synopsis of the album. Like its namesake, the album itself is a quick listen. Although average in length, the short lengths of the songs give the impression you are flying through the list.  It features his soft-spoken singing and draws the listener in. “Invincible” and “Waiting on You” are his two laid back standout tracks, they fully live up to the expectations set by the first musical blurb.

While the majority of the album is soft, there are a few that feature upbeat rhythms. “Talk” has faster pacing and more noticeable instrumentation, with guitar riffs and lower, rawer vocals. This is in sharp contrast to the carefully modulated and smooth-sounding melodies that Apollo is known for.

Although the entire album was emotionally relatable, one track stood out from the rest. “Personally,” a whiny, complaining song resonates greatly with frustration, exasperation and anxiety. This song struck its mark so clearly that it was initially annoying but quickly grew on me. The accuracy of the song showcases Apollo’s youth and clear memory of adolescence. 

My favorite parts of the album were the tenth and 11th tracks, “En El Olvido” and “Tamagotchi.” “En El Olvido” is a dramatic, balladesque song entirely in Spanish. Apollo’s heritage and familial influence are on clear display here. The song features vocals heavily inspired by ranchera, a traditional Mexican musical genre.

“Tamagotchi” is a bilingual track, flipping languages from line to line. The effect is energetic and creates more depth in this song than in any of his others. It is the only song on the album that is better listened to with others than alone. 

Overall, Apollo’s debut album sets him up with a promising future. At just 25 years old, Apollo has a bright career in front of him, with eager listeners waiting to hear what he has to share next.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars