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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 17, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Singer satisfies with new emotional album

Pony

Sony Music Entertainment

Alexander O’Connor, known by his stage name Rex Orange County, released his third indie-pop album, “Pony,” which consists of 10 songs. His new album continues the same music style that his others have, using some of the same instruments but also incorporating new music styles.

“10/10” was the first single released and is the lead single off “Pony.” It begins with an upbeat electronic keyboard and drums. He talks about his past year and how it was not what he hoped it to be. The electronic keyboard theme is carried through other songs on the album like “Always,” “Stressed Out” and “Never Had The Balls.” A lot of O’Connor’s music follows a similar music theme, but there are different tempos and instruments in every song that bring diversity to his album.

“Always” starts with a slow drumline and piano theme. Like many of his other songs, it is a simple song and does not consist of a bunch of instruments. It is well put together and catchy with a strong chorus and background vocals. “Laser Lights” is also mainly piano-based with a 30-second instrumental ending. It also has a pleasant saxophone line, which is different from a lot of music classified as pop. It comes in unexpectedly but adds to the vibe of the song positively.

“Stressed Out” begins with an electronic keyboard and slow lyrics that develop to slower guitar and eventually drums. “Never Had The Balls” is another song that starts slow and picks up to a faster pace with a happier beat. The simple guitar and drum line make it an easy song to listen to. It sounds like a happy song despite the lyrics talking about how O’Connor is not brave enough to say what he wants to say. 

The second single released before the album, “Pluto Projector,” and the two songs that follow, “Every Way” and “It Gets Better,” talk about O’Connor’s girlfriend and how she protects and looks out for him. “Pluto Projector” and “Every Way” are slower and have more of a harmonic vibe to them whereas “It Gets Better” is faster paced and has more going on with the instruments. This is an example of how O’Connor uses a variety of instruments to give every song a different feel to them so that one song is not like the other. 

The final song, “It’s Not The Same Anymore,” is a slower guitar song that talks about how O’Connor is going through a rough patch in his life and is bottling up how he is feeling. The sixandahalfminute song tells his story through the lyrics and shows his talent through all of the instruments involved like piano, drums and guitar.

The album tells many amazing stories and uses different styles of music to tell those stories, ranging from upbeat songs to slower ones. This album is the same style as a lot of his other music, so fans of his other music will most likely enjoy this as well. It is well written, organized and put together. O’Connor uses a lot of his own stories to relate to his listeners, one of the things that most attracts his listeners.