Review: Rex Orange County isn’t horsing around with his new album Pony
Rex Orange County’s new album Pony reveals a great message that encompass his struggles and optimism regarding life.
November 4, 2019
Rex Orange County has become very popular in the past couple years. He has taken on the identity of an alternative mainstream artist. His last album Apricot Princess came out in 2017. Rex Orange County has released a number of singles since then. Pony is his latest album which came out Oct 25. Rex is one of my favorite artists because every song has a special, personal meaning that I can relate to. He has always had his own style which is something that I really respect and hope continues in his new album.
I have always been a fan of Rex Orange County. However, once he became a very popular artist for teenagers to listen to he released the singles “Loving is Easy”, “Best Friend”, and “New House.” I liked all of these singles a lot. However, “New House” made me worry that Rex was moving into more of a pop genre and losing part of his unique style. My biggest concern for this album was that it would be a transition from his alternative genre that really showcases his fascinating personality to a bunch of mainstream pop songs that lack meaning and his personal charm.
He released three songs prior to launching the whole album. His first release was the song “10/10.” The first time I listened to this song I didn’t like it because it was a completely different style that Rex hadn’t shown in his past albums. I got the impression, which I had feared, that he was moving towards pop music and leaving behind his electric guitar for electro-dance music. The more I listened to the song I came to appreciate the lyrics which communicate the message of starting fresh and taking control of your life for the better and see more of his personality.
The second song he released was “Pluto Projector.” This is one of my favorite songs on the album because it brought back the musical style that he used in Apricot Princess. The message of the song reflects how relationships truly should work and that people don’t always fit perfectly together, but they can still make it work and support each other. Something that really made this song unique was his use of an orchestra. Towards the end of the song, a whole orchestra comes in and changes the whole sound of the song which I think was a really cool aspect that gave the song more of a personality and style that isn’t seen on the rest of the album.
The third song he released was “Face to Face.” I didn’t really like the melody of this song and it was too fast to pick up on the words and the real meaning of the song. However, I really liked that the song uses a lot of background sounds like claps, chimes, and castanets, a small hand percussion instrument, to add personality and give the middle of the song a more fast based rhythm to contrast with the slow beginning and end of the song.
Some of my favorite songs on the album are “Always”, “Never had the Balls”, and “Every Way.” All three of these songs, in my opinion, showcase more of a raw and vulnerable side of Rex that didn’t have such an upbeat and optimistic message as the other songs on the album. Specifically, I really liked the message of “Never Had the Balls.” To me, this song reflects that you have to speak up to change things in your life and that you really do have the confidence to change things all you need is growth and courage.
The songs “Stressed Out”, “Laser Lights” and “It Gets Better” have a really cool and different style of music. In this album, it seems like Rex explored the use of more instruments and sounds to add character and distinctive identities to each of his songs.
The last song on the album, “It’s Not the Same Anymore” was one of my favorite songs that I’ve heard from Rex as a whole. This song is pretty long coming to about 6:26. This song really shows the emotional and more depressing side of him that is masked with other songs in the album like “10/10” and “It Gets Better.” This piece exposes this deep hatred of life and “loss of joy” that has building up. The songs continues with this theme and he even describes the extent of this pain as he wouldn’t wish it on his enemies and that he needs help. However, the song ends with the sentiment that yes things have changed, but only for the better and that he is living for himself and standing up tall. The length of this song reflect the journey that he has traveled to be the person he is today and the lyrics and music capture it perfectly.
Overall, Pony is different than what we have previously seen from Rex. The album incorporates creative music styles and new sounds that we aren’t used to seeing from him. However, I think it shows growth and that Rex is changing and learning and maturing. I really appreciated the amount of personality that came through each of the songs that he wrote. Each song had a different message under the overlying theme that life will get better which made the album truly special.
Ella Wertz is a senior and the News and Features Editor of RHSToday and Knight Writers. This is her second year as an editor and third year on the staff....