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The maturity of Rex Orange County shines on “Pony”

“Pony,” British artist Alex O’Conner’s third studio album released under the moniker “Rex Orange County,” reflects on young love through sentimental lyrics and soulful acoustics. The ten-track album perfectly embodies a matured “Rex Orange County,” four years after the release of his self-produced debut album.

The opening track, “10/10,”opens on an upbeat note, with fast-paced instrumentals that are all played by O’Connor himself. The lyrics show self-reflection and a yearning for an improvement in his own character; ultimately, he wishes to reach a point in his life in which he feels as though he has reached his full potential. This same tone of a developing self-worth is echoed on “Never Had the Balls” and “Face to Face.” Both songs integrate alluring melodies that, coupled with the impactful lyrics, further emphasize the overall theme of change, for better or worse. 

Slower tracks, like “Always,” “Stressed Out,” “Pluto Projector” and “Every Way” contrast the vibrant tracks with rather sorrowful lyrics and subtle piano instrumentals. Raw vulnerability is shown by O’Conner in his willingness to honestly tell his tales of past heartbreak and regret. Failed love and hopes of learning from them are showcased in a palatable and relatable way.

“It Gets Better” most holistically represents O’Conner’s third album. The combination of slow and fast-paced guitar, drum and piano instrumentals is the ideal background to display his passionate vocals. Year by year, O’Connor analyzes how he has evolved, both musically and as a person. He reaches the conclusion that he is grateful for the person he has become and is better for knowing the people he had to leave in his past.

By Bhalpriya Sandhu, Scene editor
Photo courtesy of pitchfork.com 



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