Rex Orange County: Pony

review rex orange county x1 cong

Rex, known to his mum Mrs O’Connor as Alexander, grew up in the rock ‘n’ roll heartland — a village in Surrey. (Actually Grayshott: from 1898 to 1900, Flora Thompson, author of Lark Rise to Candleford, was assistant postmistress there; among her customers was Arthur Conan Doyle. That kind of place.)

Clearly a talented musician, he went to the Brit (British Record Industry Trust) school and his first album release, bcos u will never b free (clearly he’s better at music than grammar), caught the ear of Tyler, the Creator, leading to collaborations and tracks with the word “featuring” in the title.

It’s quirky music; he reminds us of Darwin Deez. He has a similar, rather quavery voice and seems to cover this by having lots of fiddly beats and synth, as does Deez. One soon tires of Darwin, but Rex is more talented and songs such as It Gets Better and It’s Not The Same are slicker pop/soul tunes not a million miles from Charlie Puth, ever a guilty pleasure in the Review Corner.

Lyrically, it’s in Ed Sheeran territory. Opener 10/10 is about wanting to be back home with his old mates (“I had a think about my oldest friends / Now, I no longer hang with them / And I can’t wait to be home again”), Always about having someone back home to keep you grounded. Laser Lights is about avoiding a girl he secretly loves (“when we have to speak I usually shoegaze”). Pluto Projector is him worrying about missing the moment: “What if all this counts for nothing / Everything I thought I’d be?”


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