Omar Apollo: Trouble/Ashamed
By Sam Mackey
Indiana native turned Los Angeles musician Omar Apollo experiments with a variety of sounds in his 2019 releases “Ashamed” and “Trouble”.
“Trouble” is paced by a guiding guitar segment and later and joined by the steady drum pattern persistent throughout the piece. Intimate in presentation, Apollo expresses an overwhelming fascination for a person that does not reciprocate. “It’s just nice to meet you anyway / Didn’t mean to scare you yesterday / Thought you wanted all that I could bring,” he shares, noting that the flame never sparked between the two as his mental contemplations left his questions unresolved.
Apollo expresses a respectable sense of self awareness noting “I need to wait / Good at rushing / Love on my mind/ Days at a…” then interrupting his own sentence, reflecting his eagerness. Although he is talking himself through his problematically zealous habits, perhaps he is not at all interested in taking his own advice. Here his tenacious desires for romance overshadow his rational thinking; he is ready to flee into his passionate endeavors. For the last minute of the song, he repeatedly asks “Why you running?” masked by the increasingly voluminous instrumentals as the song fades to an end. The initial guitar fragment continues, illustrating the lack of progress made as his mind travels in loops. Perhaps he is asking himself why he darts away from confronting his own problems.
Drastically different from the last muted track is “Ashamed”, where Apollo takes us through a funk breakdown of sounds. Here Apollo plays around with his vocal capabilities, jumping from artificially low effects to high shrieks, then back down to his naturally soft singing voice. Impossible to sit still through, the listener becomes emerged in the fun that Apollo is having while recording. “Are you ashamed? / What are we supposed to do with our hearts?” he asks, channeling the likeness of 90’s stars. The song soon changes paces, warping to a finish. “I can’t get you off my mind / I will keep you satisfied / Just look real deep into my eyes / Can’t live without you by my side,” he sings. Showcasing his multitude of capabilities, Apollo creates a virtually genreless piece of magnetic music.
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