Simplicity isn’t a bad thing on Pony
There’s sweet innocence to be found in Rex Orange County’s latest album, Pony. The project basks in simplicity and it wouldn’t be a stretch to compare him to Ed Sheeran, albeit a much more endearing version of him.
His lyrics aren’t meant to be groundbreaking, but the honesty with which Rex sings them makes this project all the more lovable and entertaining.
Songs like “Pluto Projector” sound like his best attempt at recreating a Frank Ocean song, and he pulls it off with success. However, more often than not, Rex is comfortable making clear-as-day, indie pop-rock songs that could be played at both a high school prom and at your grandparents’ house.
“10/10” is a solid single that shows Rex’s paranoia and distrust of disloyal friends and opportunists who try to take advantage of his fame. “Face to Face,” the third promotional single for Pony feels like an ode to 80s pop and specifically, Queen, as the vocal pitches and beat switches sound inspired, even if minimally, by “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Towards the back end of the album, the piano-led ballad “Every Way” jumps out as the emotional apex of the album. It’s short and simple, but it’s also cute enough to slow dance to at a wedding. The following two and last tracks continue the sequence of great songs as the album ends on a high with “It Gets Better” and “It’s not the Same Anymore.”
Pony is a decidedly simple album, and one could mark that as a flaw given how many deep, complex, and layered pop projects have been released this year. Sometimes, though, simple is nice. The album doesn’t require much thinking, it’s just a lovely Sunday afternoon neatly packaged as a 30-minute listening experience.
Trial Track: “Pluto Projector”
Star Bar: “The great protector
Is that what I’m supposed to be?
What if all this counts for nothing
Everything I thought I’d be?” (Rex on “Pluto Projector”)