Rex Orange County | Pony | Album Review

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Rex Orange County’s third album, Pony, is quite the step from his last album. The 21-year-old singer sounded far more mature on his older tracks, specifically the song that made him a household name, “Sunflower.” 

While trying to keep hold of the sound that made him famous, County seems to flounder under the weight.  Pony’s tracks are vaguely catchy, drawing some inspiration from the bedroom-alternative music that listeners liked about him in the first place, but he seems to not know where to go.

Some tracks are quite experimental, including “Laser Lights,” which utilizes jazz instrumentals to accompany Rex’s basic spoken rap lyrics.  However, the gimmick is tired, and Rex invokes another artist with a “meh” album this year, Chance the Rapper.

Other tracks, such as “Never Had the Balls” work more with Rex’s musical stylings. The Stranger Things-esque synth and peppy drum beat carries his vocals much better than his more melody-lacking tracks. It’s ruined at the end however, when the instrumentals turn into something that sounds like a track from Sims 4.   

The best song on the album is by far “Pluto Projector,” a piano-backed track that is perfectly simple and utterly gorgeous. It sounds a little bit like a lullaby, a little bit like a love song, and definitely will make listeners think about the end of adolescence. The ending of the song turns into a magnificent orchestra piece, headed by violin. It wouldn’t be out of place in a 1930’s black-and-white film. 

It’s a so-so album with real promise, but Rex Orange County is just one if those artist who should stick to what he knows.

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