MusicThe Appraisal

Omar Apollo: “Live For Me” Review

Article by Aidan O’Sullivan

Omar Apollo has returned with his newest EP “Live For Me,” including a music video to accompany the title track. This is following his successful debut album “Ivory,” as well as a 2023 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. 

“Live for Me” is a testament to the evolution of his artistry as he seamlessly blends genres, touching on a plethora of emotions in just four songs. Most known for his balance of numerous genres, mesmerizing guitar riffs, and melodic vocals, “Live for Me”, is one of his most cohesive efforts in the context of genre. We see Apollo at his best in terms of his alternative R&B side, leaning heavily on the use of synthetic production. Nonetheless, this just fortifies his raw vocals and production talents, resulting in an EP best suited for those late-night reflective car journeys. 

Apollo opens his EP with title track “Live for Me”: a somber and hauntingly beautiful ballad about life, family, and acceptance. His distinct vocals combined with the soft notes of the keyboard set the tone for the entire project. In ‘Ice Slippin,’ he depicts his experience of coming out to his family through the lens of the cold and lonely winter in which he came out. In an interview, Apollo described this period of coming out to his family as a lack of acceptance and “cold judgment.” While he begs for acceptance throughout, he finds some sense of closure towards the end of the song. An accumulation of synth instrumentals enters in a reflective moment in which his vocals resurface, as he solemnly sings “But I still believe, I can make you proud.” 

The following track “Angel” enters with a heavily autotuned, metallic sound. Here, Apollo touches on life and death, and his own personal experience with the path he has led to this point. The landscape of this song has an experimental underlying tone, with heavy distortion among his vocals and incorporated synths throughout the track. Apollo is able to reflect on his own life from an alternate perspective, which leads to considerable meditation on his self-worth. The synthesis of several voices into a synthetic sound provides the listener with periods of clarity and introspection, allowing us to look into Apollo’s own existence. Apollo continues on this theme of experimentation with the concluding track “Pilot”. Straying from his typical alternative R&B sound, Apollo comes into his own, bending the boundaries of genre. After battling through his own experience with love and life, Apollo develops a level of self-certainty. A sense of optimism is created through his enticing production and tenor-heavy vocals, masterfully carrying the listener along his path of self-love, discovery, and acceptance. 

In Apollo’s newest EP, he expresses extreme vulnerability and openness — pulling at the heartstrings of his listeners as he leaves no emotion untouched. It is a thoughtful and creative story of his own journey through acceptance, self-love, and closure. “Live for Me” is a raw, welcoming narrative of love, loss, and life, told via powerful lyrics and ear-catching production. 

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