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Rex Orange County - Pony (Album Review)

Friday, 01 November 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

Still only 21, pop prodigy Rex Orange County has released three albums in a little over three years. Having already created his share of challenging, atmospheric compositions, detailing every high and low he has experienced throughout his young life, Rex’s sound is deeply sincere.

‘Pony’, his first LP for a major label, flicks between its share of highs and lows in just 34 minutes. Surprisingly weak from the start, its best content begins at track six and then grows in integrity and depth. Opening number 10/10 is the album’s most uninspiring moment and, confusingly, the record’s most convoluted and cliched cuts are crammed into the first 10 minutes.

The lyrics, vocals and unimaginative instrumentals feel like the work of a producer going through the motions, churning out the sounds like a chart factory line of formulaic arrangements.

The thematic focus of ‘Pony’ also apprars to be so much more repressed and stifled than Rex’s work on ‘bcos u will never b free’ and ‘Apricot Princess’; works that are drenched in emotion, soul and hope.

Every Way gives a fleeting flash of the Hampshire native’s true potential. A thoughtful lullaby, free from frivolous technical distractions, the simplicity of the music here is stunning. Followed by the dramatic It Gets Better, it’s clear that Rex’s authentic talent lies in professing his true, lived passions. 

Singing about his long term girlfriend unleashes a positive energy that hooks the listener in, and quite why this quality material has been left to prop up the finale is a mystery. Perhaps a metaphorical moment in the multi-instrumentalist’s career, ‘Pony’ feels like a forgettable transition.

Rex Orange County Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue November 12 2019 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Wed November 13 2019 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Sat November 16 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Sun November 17 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Tue November 19 2019 - DUBLIN Olympia
Wed November 20 2019 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre
Fri November 22 2019 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Sun November 24 2019 - GLASGOW Barrowland
Tue November 26 2019 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Wed November 27 2019 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Thu November 28 2019 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton

Click here to compare & buy Rex Orange County Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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