Omar Apollo returns with a ballad full of vulnerability on 'God Said No'

On his second studio album, Omar Apollo finds himself sad and depressed at times, but also sees himself growing through the pain of love and loss.
Omar Apollo at the We Love Green Festival
Omar Apollo at the We Love Green Festival / Kristy Sparow/GettyImages

"You left me empty, hollowed and empty," Omar Apollo sings on the seventh track, "Empty". Quickly, the Indiana-born artist displays exactly what the audience is to hear from his second studio album, God Said No-love, depression, self-reflection, depression, and overall uncertainty.

In contrast to his previous album, Ivory, which was full of optimism, God Said No takes a more sorrow-filled approach as Omar finds himself unworthy of love in moments. This idea comes to fruition on the track, "Life's Unfair," where Apollo states, "I did something real don't break my love for you, but yours for me might change."

Omar Apollo grew up in Hobart, Indiana to two immigrant parents from Mexico. His music career began to take off in 2016-17 on Soundcloud with tracks like "Ugotme".

Omar Apollo's God Said No is full of lyrics that are raw and emotional

The 27-year-old artist made his studio album debut in 2022 with the highly-received album, Ivory. Despite his career seeming to be at an all-time high, Apollo shows us that not everything is to be taken at face value.

God Said No finds Apollo battling love, his feelings of uncertainty, and his inner thoughts. The production on the project is fairly upbeat and full of synth-pop, but it's the lyricism that makes the listener stop in their tracks.

The album starts with the track "Be Careful With Me," where Apollo questions a relationship. He feels as though his lover wants him to cross lines, but Apollo feels uneasy changing himself for another person. Despite knowing his lover still thinks about him, he feels as though he is being led on, but it is still difficult to let go.

Flowing into the second track, Apollo dives into his indie rock bag with "Spite." The track once again finds Apollo battling a feeling of being led on, but once again, he's blinded by the love he has for the other person. This relationship he has seems like a situationship, but it is very one-sided in favor of the other person.

The upbeat feeling but thought-provoking lyricism continues into the third track, "Less of You," where Apollo once again reflects on a fight he had. He asks the question, "Was last night the end of me and you?" Although he doesn't want this relationship to end, he once again feels like a burden, feeling like he is depressing his lover.

"Done With You" carries this same pattern of reflection, but finally Apollo realizes this lover is not good for him. He asks for them to leave him be as he is done with them.

Track five contains the first, and only feature on the album. Mustafa sings a verse about always giving, but all that it results in is a feeling of coldness, as the feelings are not mutual toward him and his lover. "Plane Trees" is also the first time the audience is exposed to the more emotion-filled production, as the piano plays the most dominant role in the instrumentation of the song.

"Plane Trees" feels like a shift on the album. Apollo begins to realize that despite having love for this relationship, or the many relationships, he is also the problem. This idea comes to fruition on "Life's Unfair" where he battles if he's even worthy of love.

The turning point of self-reflection continues throughout the remainder of the album. Whether it be thinking about insecurities on "Dispose of Me" or how he escaped to Montana to feel free from the world on the track "How." But this self-reflection reaches an entirely new level when we hear the voice of actor Pedro Pascal.

Next. Songs from the 1960s that have no business being great but are. Songs from the 1960s that have no business being great but are. dark

On the song "Pedro," Pedro sends a voice memo to Apollo where he discusses a time in Europe when he found himself talking to a bench. He felt like at that moment, there was nothing more, there would be no more moments "past that moment." But he ends the excerpt with the words, "But there was, there was," attempting to show Apollo that despite being in a very dark place, there are many things to live for.

The album ends with the track "Glow," which begins as another piano ballad but crescendos into a track full of hope. As the build-up begins to fade out, Apollo's final words are "give me one more dance before you go, before you go." In an almost perfect conclusion, these final words portray everything God Said No is about. Love will come and go, and it's very difficult to let it go sometimes, but at some point, you have to.

Apollo shows the listeners that he is not perfect and that he is not meant to be an idol. He's just a man who loves, who hurts, who fails, but most importantly, who grows. God Said No is a masterpiece and from start to finish, Apollo displays his range of capabilities. It leaves us excited to see what is to come.

More music news and analysis: