Pony: Yea or Neigh


Rian Sanders, Staff Writer

Sometimes, artists like to disappear for a long time. After their hiatus, they tend to return with even better music. The Smashing Pumpkins did that for a while. Six years, to be exact. Australian pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer did it. Even older bands like INXS did it. Rex Orange County, though, did it on a much smaller scale.

Alexander O’Connor, better known as Rex Orange County, released his third album ​Pony ​on Oct. 25. The album contains 10 songs and a lot of emotions. Like his previous studio projects, ​Pony ​was produced under Two Inch Punch. The only real difference this time is that it’s more himself than ever before.

The first single 10/10, which doubles as the opening track, is coated with sentiment. The song is good, but is more on the experimental side. Although it’s a strange instrumental, the lyrics hold a lot of value. They’re full of statements about growth and change within himself, which is a perfect way to open up the feel of the album.

Throughout the project, we get introduced to O’Connor’s jazz-influenced synth pop style. He shows us his ability to write catchy hooks and mix different sounds together while still managing to keep his “Rex Orange County” sound, and while some might call it experimental, others might call it game changing.

Not too long after 10/10, we get Stressed Out. This song is a perfect example of O’Connor’s struggles with fame and how it blends into his personal life. Singing “​They wanna see me stressed out every day, I know it/ they wanna lie and still be friends/ but when you’re at your worst, they’re not there/ and you discovered that they don’t care” goes to show just how rough it has been on him since he found fame.

The England native has grown immensely since the show “Dear White People” used his song Uno at the end of episode three and his cover of “You’ve Got a Friend,” featuring the original composer and singer Randy Newman. This gave Rex a new audience, with a growing crowd fond of the artist’s ability to incorporate different types of genres in his songs while staying true to his sound.

This album, sugar coated with lyrics that signify growth, change and mental health over up-beat synthetics with a few slow songs scattered in, is definitely one of Rex’s best projects. The time he spent out of the limelight to work on this project was definitely worth it, and I’d say I can’t wait for the next album.