Sincerity — or at least having the ability to show it — is often a casualty of age. There’s a certain heartfelt quality that tends to get dulled under the weight of merely having to exist, day after excruciating day. Rex Orange County should know this feeling, but on his latest track, “10/10,” the singer and songwriter is clearly powering through it.
Through a robotic chirp, Rex details a rough year that saw him outgrowing friends, pining for his home, and admitting he has trouble controlling his emotions. In that way, “10/10” feels like an amalgamation of the plot of every single John Hughes movie. Initially, the overdose of saccharine hope felt like a throwback to the music I would have loved about a decade ago, considering I spent a good chunk of my late teenaged years unironically listening to fun. and Matt & Kim.
There’s an energizing simplicity to “10/10,” though, and its vision of self-actualization. Atop thin synths and upbeat drums, Rex sings about giving himself a “little credit” for dealing with the pain and taking control of one’s life. After a few listens and an inner chat with myself to stop being a dejected ass, the song grew on me. Dare I say it even made me feel better?
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