Brit teen singer/songwriter Rex Orange County (Alex O’Connor) showcases musicianship that is transcendent of age on the brilliant ‘Apricot Princess.’
It should be noted, there are a lot of talented teenagers in the world. As of late, the teens have really been showing they’re “in it to win it.” Those teens include Shawn Mendes, Khalid, Declan McKenna, and our superb featured artist, Alex O’Connor, better known as Rex Orange County. His second project, Apricot Princess, is an enjoyable, honest, and well-rounded album. Rex Orange County showcases musicianship transcendent of his 19 years. Here are the top five songs from Apricot Princess.
No. 1: “Apricot Princess”
“Apricot Princess” opens with lush production work, thanks to strings, vibes, and thoughtful orchestration. Rex Orange County sets the tone, which is emotionally driven. After professing his love over a slow tempo, things speed up. Rex wants to show the world that she means and is the world to him.
No. 2: “Never Enough”
Penultimate track “Never Enough” kicks up the tempo. From the jump, the groove is driving, propelling the record forward. Another surprise is the robustness of the guitars. This showcases more oomph from Rex Orange County. Even in the midst of rock-centricity, the harmonic progression remains captivating with some quirks.
No. 3: “Television / So Far So Good”
Sophomore cut “Television / So Far So Good” gets off to a faster start than “Apricot Princess,” thanks to the driving groove. The harmonic progression is selling point – Alex O’Connor definitely does some interesting things. After the rollicking, rocking start, the second part of the song slows things down, incorporating lusher sounds, including electric piano and synths. The contrast is a selling point by all means.
No. 4: “Nothing”
“Nothing” featuring Marco Mckinnis has a moderately slow pace. Once more, the production work – the sound – is ear-catching. The palette includes soulful electric guitar, vibes, and electric piano. O’Connor sings about the first time. Here, he sounds sexy, delivering a nuanced, authentic performance.
No. 5: “Sycamore Girl”
“Sycamore Girl” continues to possess a soulful, throwback sound. The jazziness of the sound is incredibly mature, particularly for a 19-year old. The melody is colorful, with some unpredictability that keeps things interesting. Like the songs that precede it, this is another beautiful, authentic performance. O’Connor continues to showcase sound artistry beyond his years. Making things even sweeter, his girlfriend, Thea, adds vocals. The chemistry is awesome.
Ultimately, Apricot Princess is one of the best albums of 2017. In the case of Rex Orange County / Alex O’Connor, age merely is just a number. This kid has an expressive voice filled with nuance, a knack for personal, believable songwriting, and showcases superb musicianship.
Gems: “Apricot Princess,” “Television / So Far So Good,” “Nothing” & “Never Enough”