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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Criticism: Reneé Rapp’s “Snow Angel”

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Rating: 7/10
 

In a debut studio album that radiates both harsh heat and numbing cold, Reneé Rapp’s “Snow Angel” (2023) is yet another notch in the new singer’s growing, star-studded belt.

“Snow Angel”, which was released on Friday, Aug. 18, is the first full-length studio album from Rapp, an actress, singer and up and coming songwriter who first made her claim to fame after landing the role of Regina George in the Broadway musical adaptation of Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls.” Continuing her work as the blunt and beautiful Leighton Murray in HBO Max’s “The Sex Lives of College Girls”, Rapp’s notability as an actress has grown steadily since the series’ release. However, knowledge of her vocal talents has remained relatively limited to fans who know her from the Broadway stage.

“Snow Angel” however, takes Rapp’s musical theater fame and launches it into that of a full-on pop star. The album covers everything from the dull soreness of early 20s growing pains to the raw, heavy-chested ache of unbridled anxiety and does not hold back. 

Starting “Snow Angel” off strong with “Talk Too Much,” Rapp impressively turns a personal anecdote about a previous stress dream into a catchy, angst-filled pop masterpiece that captures the infuriating anxiety and overthinking that often accompanies a new relationship. Operating on levels of over-analyzation and self-deprecation that toe the line between pure comedy and painful relatability, “Talk Too Much” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the album, further substantiating why it was released as one of “Snow Angel”’s debut singles. 

Surpassing “Talk Too Much” ever so slightly is the album’s first single and titular track, “Snow Angel.” Showcasing Rapp’s phenomenal Broadway belt in a manner that can only be described as absolutely stunning, “Snow Angel” is the type of chilling ballad that will leave you staring out a car window contemplating every form of heartbreak you’ve ever endured. While the track can be interpreted as an expression of romance-related pain, its ultimate strength lies in its more subtle and atmospheric depiction of a cold, phantom hurt — the type that festers slowly, cruelly and without mercy. Taking after Taylor Swift’s pattern of devastating fifth track slots, “Snow Angel” is 3:36 of pure catharsis, with its only flaw being that it makes many of the other tracks pale in comparison. 

While not every track on “Snow Angel” illustrates the unwavering strength of “Talk Too Much” and “Snow Angel,” they do all showcase Rapp’s bewitching vocals and potential as a prominent singer-songwriter. Between the haunting beauty of “I Hate Boston” and “Gemini Moon,” the sneering venom of “Poison Poison” and the playful synth-pop exasperation of “Pretty Girls,” “Snow Angel” is, both sonically and lyrically, well-rounded, further solidifying Rapp as a name that will continue to rise in the mainstream music scene. 

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