“Apollo XXI”; Steve Lacey and His Brilliant Coming of Age Album

“Apollo XXI”; Steve Lacey and His Brilliant Coming of Age Album

Jaimee Beyer, Guest Contributor

“Apollo XXI,” produced in May of 2019 and sung by Steve Lacey, is an album for the books. With many unique different parts to songs and intriguing lyrical and vocal choices, “Apollo XXI” is like no album you have ever heard before.

Lacey decided to put a lot of thought behind the name of his album and after researching Greek Gods Lacey found the perfect one: Apollo. Apollo was the god of poetry and played the strings, exactly what Lacey envisioned for this album. XXI stands for Lacey’s’ age during the time of production and the age he experienced some of his toughest struggles.

Steve Lacey’s “Apollo XXI” album has a strong focus on being yourself, finding yourself, and growing. Lacey wanted his album to be a version of his own coming of age representing finding himself. Before the production of this album, Lacey had recently come out to fans as bisexual.

In this albumwe can find some of Lacey’s deepest struggles through his lyrics. We can feel how Lacey truly feels after coming out and suffering lost relationships. As the listener, we also get something from Lacey as he reaches out to his fans through his lyrics.

Lacey starts out his album with “Only If,” a quick 1 minute and 40 second song. This song gives the idea of Lacey taking a step back and breathing in the midst of his hectic life. Lyrics like, “If I could travel through time, I think I would tell myself from the past, ‘You’ll be fine’” give us this idea of no worries and no stress hence, “’You’ll be fine’”.

The second track in Lacey’s album, “Like Me,” is one that really stands out among the rest. “Like Me” is a 9 minute and 4 second track that contains 3 different parts. With each section you can feel Lacey calling out to you through his lyrics, letting you know everyone goes through similar struggles and you’re not alone.

Lacey truly opens up and expresses his own struggles to empathize with his fans. In his song Lacey asks, “How many out there just like me? How many work on self-acceptance like me? I wonder”. He is willing to be open and vulnerable in his music so he can be personal with his fans.

Lacey has a strong love for Prince, and he expresses this through his track “Playground”. In this track full of funk, Lacey plays around with his higher vocal register, similar to Princes’ song Kiss, to give “Playground” that Prince/funk vibe. I think this adds something special to the album that also shows us more of who Lacey is.

Lacey’s “Apollo XXI” album is filled with a different variety of music which makes this album even more unique. In “Love 2 Fast,” we can find the Indie Rock style with a hint of Psychedelic Soul.  The instruments and beats created in “Love 2 Fast” add a nice flow to the song that makes you feel lost in the music.

“Love 2 Fast” contains lyrics like, “Yes, you’ll be fine, you just can’t rush Not again, not again, no, not again” that make it seem like Lacey is giving important advice to someone he loves. Lacey chose to add emphasis to the world “no, not again” to show the importance of his message.

“Amandla’s Interlude,” the 10th track on the album, is like no track I have experienced in an album before. Lacey brought in actress and activist Amandla Stenburg for her excellent violin skills to produce “Amandla’s Interlude”. When listening to this song I close my eyes and truly enjoy the piece.

He begins “Amandla’s Interlude” with regular conversation between the two, “I feel like we really just wrote that together with, like, minimal effort”. This is yet another piece to Lacey’s album that makes it unique.

From 3 parts songs to violin solos, “Apollo XXI” has it all. With Steve Lacey’s production, guitar, and solo artist skills, his unique album creation is one for the books. I would recommend this album to anyone who wants to expand their music taste, as it gives you much variety. 5/5 Stars!