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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

‘So What Now’: Reneé Rapp leaves Broadway for the music industry

Reneé Rapp’s debut album, “Snow Angel,” released on Aug. 18. (Photo via Katia Temkin)

Reneé Rapp is taking over the music world.

Rapp starred in the musical theater adaptation of “Mean Girls” and transitioned to pop music with the release of her first single, “Tattoos” in 2022.

Rapp spoke about the release of her debut album, “Snow Angel,” on Aug. 17 and gave insight to what her new 12-song album, released on Aug. 18, entails in a press conference with °1824.

“Talk Too Much” is the second single from the album. The song is about talking yourself out of your own happiness. Rapp is 23 years old and in her writing she creates music that her target audience — mainly queer individuals and women — are going to relate to. I find this to be an admirable quality in a songwriter because it is not easy to put your feelings on display like that.

The first few songs, along with “So What Now” make use of the unspoken rule that many songs are about relationships. The next song, “So What Now” is about finding yourself in the same place as an ex-partner. I love the feeling that this specific song creates: anger and resentment for ending up back where you started with your previous partner.

“I feel like I’m living the ‘So what am I supposed to do now,” Rapp said. “‘You want to talk? Would you like to chat?’ Like come on, grow up. It’s just about your ex being in the same city that you live in like, ‘Why are you fucking here? Like yes, you did grow up here, your family is here, you were born here, but I don’t give a fuck.’”

“Pretty Girls” is my favorite song on the album. I really like the instrumentals, which have a techno sound that is different from the basic-pop vibe of the rest of the album. 

Lyricisim fuels the song, creating an uptempo beat as the chorus arrives in the song. This song is meaningful and relatable to me, as someone who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Rapp’s songs have underlying themes of past relationships, being hypersexualized, trying to be carefree and even being in love.

“Pretty Girls” is, I think, my most up-tempo song I’ve ever put out,” Rapp said. “But, it’s a really sad song. Like the words are incredibly sad.”

The lyrics to “The Wedding Song” are referencing setting someone’s world on fire because you are so in love with them. It’s a ballad-style song, however, it is a pure love song. Rapp explained that she recorded this song multiple times because she wanted it to sound perfect.

One of the final three songs of the album is “I Wish.” When I first listened to the song, I felt myself becoming overwhelmed with emotions. This song utilizes an acoustic guitar, which I found refreshing from the drumsets and electric guitar. The song is about mourning the idea of not knowing about the concept of death.

“‘I Wish’ is a song I wrote about my parents and my first understanding of mortality when I was like 10,” Rapp said. “It is something that really haunted me there for a while.”

Every album has songs that aren’t going to be favorites. “Willow” and “Tummy Hurts” are examples of those. They have a unique sound that makes them catchy, however, I wouldn’t listen to them everyday. When I first listened to the tracks, I didn’t have an initial reaction as I did with the other songs.

The album is thoroughly written, with intricate meanings behind all of the songs. With this being Rapp’s first album, there were songs that could make the listener feel all sorts of emotions, and other songs that could make listeners feel more relaxed. Despite the little aspects that I do not find enticing, I would send all musical theater fans to this album.

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Casey Wiederhold
Casey Wiederhold, Photography Editor

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