In Rotation: Snow Angel by Reneé Rapp

In Rotation: Snow Angel by Reneé Rapp

With a musical theatre training and career on Broadway, Reneé Rapp has proven herself to be extraordinary. In 2019, at only 19 years old, Reneé made her Broadway debut as Regina in Mean Girls and remained in her role until the show’s close on March 11, 2020. Three years later on August 18, 2023, she released her debut album, Snow Angel. This album showcases her incredibly powerful and technical vocals as well as her expressive lyricism. So, let’s get into the breakdown–


Talk Too Much

I Hate Boston

Poison Poison

Gemini Moon

Snow Angel

So What Now

The Wedding Song

Pretty Girls

Tummy Hurts

I Wish




1. Talk Too Much 

Synopsis– On this track, Reneé depicts her tendency to overthink and self-sabotage things, particularly a relationship in this case, that are going well for her. She is finding any excuse she can to end this relationship yet questions why she does so as it is enjoyable and makes her happy. She sings about how she over analyzes every little detail and “sign” that she sees that it winds up ruining things for her. Her previous pain and fear of what may await forces her to be unable to live in and enjoy the present moment, and that will lead to the destruction of her relationship.  

Lyric Pullouts– 

If I see a blue car today

We’ll probably have to break up

So I close my eyes while I drive (Mm)

And if it rains, then it rains

And we’ll be over by May” (Verse 2)

Reneé sings this verse about assigning meaning to things that inherently have none. She is looking for signs to tell her what to do in life. She has decided that seeing a blue car while driving means that she is going to have to break up with her partner and that if the weather changes and it begins to rain, then their relationship will not work out. These aren’t meanings that are generally associated with these things but she wants to create signs for herself to lead her in a direction so that she doesn’t have to come to decisions by herself. It’s obvious that she doesn’t want things to end as she mentions that she “closes her eyes while she drives” to avoid seeing a blue car, but she cannot allow herself to make her own choices about this relationship.

“I’m here again, talking myself out of

My own happiness

I’ll make it up ’til I quit

I wonder if we should just sit here in silence

‘Cause ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, I think I talk too much” (Chorus)

When speaking, Reneé finds that the things she says are just too much and that she’s jeopardizing her relationship by talking. Even though it’ll be difficult, she thinks it’d just be better if they didn’t talk to each other at all because her overthinking is leading her to saying things that are ruining her partner’s perception of her. Any time she says anything she also makes herself believe that, even if things are completely fine, everything is going wrong and she should just end things before it’s out of her control.

Reneé’s Commentary– When asked about putting together this song with her producer, Reneé said, “I think a lot of artists do this, but some producers like it and some producers don’t. Basically, we wrote this song and this was one of the first times we were working together. We had done it and I was like, ‘Oh word.’ I really hated writing up tempos before that and now I love it,. And it was a stressor of mine because I was like, I want to make sure that I’m doing a good job and I’m doing it intentionally and it has all of this…whatever, whatever. We made the song and I was so excited, but Alexander [her producer] and I weren’t like cool yet. We weren’t like boys. And so I didn’t want to ask him to send me a bounce because I knew he wouldn’t do it. It depends on the producer. It depends on the producer. He is so particular. He’s honestly just so smart that he’s like, ‘No, you can’t have it until I go through and do things to it to make it a full song.’ I kind of just listen to whatever he says now, which is weird because I really don’t like to do that.” (via Zane Lowe) 

2. I Hate Boston 

Synopsis– In this song, Reneé recalls her past experiences with the city of Boston, how it was a place that she loved and adored, and how easily it was tainted for her just because of someone who lived there. She tells listeners about the sequence of events in her relationship–how the two got together, expressing how it shouldn’t have happened, and ultimately detailing how it ended. Her narration conveys confusion of how someone could make her hate a place that she once admired just because they did not love her. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“I was just a tourist

You got to be a big hometown hero

Made you feel important

Still stuck in your high school yearbook” (Verse 1)

The person that Reneé was in a relationship with was from Boston and on a visit there, he got to show her around because of his familiarity with the city. Reneé notes that this person likely peaked in high school, holding popularity from those teenage years and unable to let it go because they know their future will be unable to live up to their past. Being the center of attention in acting as a tour guide for Reneé just further shows their inability to mature and feeds into their delusion of being extremely important in Boston. This sets the tone for the song as the detailing of their need to be the center of attention led to their incapability to truly love Reneé, causing their breakup.

“How’d you make me hate Boston?

It’s not its fault that you don’t love me

Had its charm, but it lost it

It’s not its fault, just a casualty” (Chorus)

Reneé speaks on how she knew that her partner didn’t love her and that unrequited love is the reason that she hates this person and city. She then acknowledges that Boston isn’t at fault for this person not loving her, but she can’t help but to hate it because she associates it with them and she hates anything that has to do with them. Boston was a place that she once loved and enjoyed being in, but it is now covered in the thought of this person so she has lost all admiration that she had for it in the first place.

Reneé’s Commentary– Reneé stated, “This song comes from two different places. It started because I was in a session with some of my friends and I was talking about this show I played in Boston. The fans were just so awesome and it was a great gig by all accounts, but I was sick…I also wore these faux leather pants and big boots and a fuzzy sweater, and the venue was so hot and I was suffocating. It was awful. The other side was that I wanted to use Boston as an alias because the word sings beautifully. The lyrics are about a city that an ex tainted for me, and I wanted to make sure that it felt really close to the hyper-specific situations that I went through in this relationship. Boston was sort of a cover-up.” (via Apple Music)

3. Poison Poison 

Synopsis– Straying from romantic relationships, Reneé sings about a platonic relationship on “Poison Poison,” detailing the betrayal from a friend that led to the end of that friendship. She expresses her anger and frustration towards this person and how they stabbed her in the back. It’s obvious that she no longer likes this person and is completely over them, pointing out their red flags and how bad of a person they were. Reneé carries extensive irritation towards this person and doesn’t mind telling them how toxic they are. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“You get on my nerves

You’re so…annoying, you could poison poison

You’re the worst person on earth

Forgiving you is pointless, you could poison poison, baby girl” (Chorus)

This person really hurt Reneé and what she did is practically unforgivable. Although she’d want to try again with them, she knows that it’s fruitless to even attempt because of how evil they are and how they’ll most likely just do the same thing. She isn’t afraid to mention all of the things that she hates about them and will call them out on being on her nerves, annoying, and “the worst person on earth.” By saying that they could “poison poison,” she means that they are so awful that they could make even a deadly substance even worse just because of who they are.

“Anything it takes to run your mouth, to bring me down to anybody listening

And yes, I am a feminist

But…you’re makin’ it so hard for me to always be supporting all women” (Verse 2)

All that this ex-friend does is talk badly about Reneé and she’s tired of it. She doesn’t want to hear all of the horrid things that this person has to say about it, especially when they are not true, and it’s funny how despite not liking her, they still do whatever they can to bring up her name in conversation. A phrase that has become more popular recently amongst the feminist community is “women supporting women,” and while Reneé is a feminist who supports women, she cannot get behind supporting this one because of how terrible she was to her.

Reneé’s Commentary– When she was asked about the contents of the song, Reneé said, “This is probably the most sarcastic, cynical song that I have on this record. I had a friendship with another girl that ended really horribly. I think as a woman and as women, it sucks when we get in a fight with another woman. We don’t want to be a girl that takes down another girl. I wanted to write a song about it because I cared about this person so much and we were such good friends and I felt really betrayed. I wanted to deal with my feelings in a way that was comedic and sarcastic and kind of coped with it in a different way than how I actually felt about it, which was extremely hurt and betrayed and really confused and very sad.” (via Apple Music)

4. Gemini Moon 

Synopsis– Reneé sings about her constantly changing emotions, moods, and behaviors throughout a fluctuating relationship. She depicts the complexity of this relationship and her ever-changing feelings and how they affect it. She notes her inconsistencies and unpredictability while she speaks on seeing her partner as perfect. It’s evident throughout the song that both she and her partner are tired of and stressed by these actions but she struggles with being able to change herself for the benefit of the relationship.  

Lyric Pullouts– 

“Never know who you’re gonna get

We’re in love or we never met

Sour lemons or cinnamon

Every day I’m different” (Verse 1)

Geminis, whether it be sun, moon, rising, or any other sign, are often characterized by their traits of being “two-faced,” constantly switching feelings and emotions and unable to choose sides. Reneé mentions multiple contrasting things in this verse, such as being in love vs. never having met and “sour lemons” vs “cinnamon.” She uses these opposites to relate to herself and her emotions, stating that she is always changing and it’s hard to tell how she will act and react to a certain situation based on the day. Later on in the song, she notes that she understands this to be a problem but doesn’t know how to go about fixing it.

Always the problem kid

I could never pick a side (Ah)

I bet you’re sick of it (Ah-ah)

I could blame the Gemini moon

But really, I should just be better to you (Chorus)

This relationship has had its difficulties, very many of them too, from both sides. Reneé is trying to place the fault for their hardships on the moon in Gemini. She knows though, that this back and forth is her fault for being unable to make a clear decision and she is aware that she should work on her communication and feelings. She knows that this is a problem and notes that it has been an issue since she was a child, and she acknowledges that these characteristics from her are annoying and hard to deal with from the perspective of another person, especially someone that she is in a relationship with.

Reneé’s Commentary– When talking about how the song came to be, Reneé stated, “This song is so…funny because actually I’m a Pisces moon. But I wrote ‘Gemini Moon’ because I had a really tough breakup a couple years ago which started as us taking a break—this in-between thing where you’re feeling two states at once. I walked outside after this happened and I looked up and, of course, it’s a full…moon. That…always happens to me on a full moon. I always have full moons on my birthdays, and it sucked. Then I wondered if the moon is in Gemini right now. And through tears, I looked it up, and sure enough, it was Gemini moon. Then I was in the studio one day and fresh into a new relationship and I was experiencing being in love with someone again after having that fallout. I hadn’t felt that intensely for someone in a long time, and I was really scared. I was criticising every little thing I did. So I was like, wow, I wonder if it’s a Gemini moon right now. I looked it up and it was a Gemini moon, and I was like, are you…kidding? It was almost exactly two years apart.” (via Apple Music)

5. Snow Angel 

Synopsis– On the title track, which was also the first single for the album, Reneé recounts a traumatic event that occurred during a relationship. She sings this ballad to remind herself that although something awful happened to her, she can and will get through it. She displays huge amounts of vulnerability on this song and speaks on her struggles in just merely surviving during this time. Despite all of the hardships she is facing, she is extremely determined to make it through this time in her life and wants to leave the hurt in her past. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

I’ll make it through the winter if it kills me

I can make it faster if I hurry

I’ll angel in the snow until I’m worthy

But if it kills me, I tried (Chorus)

The use of the word “winter” bot serves as a metaphor for the heartache and pain that she is experiencing as well as the actual season itself. No matter what happens to her, she is merely trying to survive, to get past both the winter and the hurt that she is feeling. At this point in her life, after everything she’s gone through, she’s doing everything she can to move past this awful time. She is doing all that she can to get out of this situation and to have an optimistic outlook on what is to come in the future. She is trying to make the best out of a bad time and not allow herself to wallow in what has happened to her.

“I met a boy, he broke my heart

I blame him ’cause it’s easier

But I still look for him in her

The seasons change, addiction’s strange

I loved back then what I hate today (Bridge)

Reneé is acknowledging that she may indeed have some fault in the reason that their relationship didn’t work, but knows still that he wasn’t a great person. But, it becomes less difficult to deal with the pain if she is putting the blame on him instead of thinking or saying that she is the reason the relationship went awry. Despite the hurt that he put upon her and how awful this person was to her, she still tries to find his qualities within potential future partners. As she is trying to make it out of the winter, Reneé notes how seasons change, which can be seen as a sign of hope, that she is aware things will get better as time passes. But like the seasons, her thoughts and feelings are also ever-changing and she likely will not feel the same about something day-to-day, and this can be seen as both a good and bad thing.

Reneé’s Commentary– She said about how the song came to be, “My album was done. I had all the songs. I even had the lead single picked out, too. I spent four months writing nearly every day. I spit out all my concepts, all my ballads…and my I love you’s. We rented out studios in Jersey while I was filming Mean Girls and cried in…every studio in the Valley. Fast forward May 8th, probably 11 pm. Alexander and I were supposed to be finishing vocals but we decided to try a Hail Mary. A little over a year ago I had a traumatic experience. I don’t love to throw that word around lightly, so I understand the weight it holds. My last week in Jersey, I texted Alexander that I wanted to write about it when I got home.” (via DORK)

6. So What Now 

Synopsis– Reneé is trying to come up with what would have happened had she run into her ex again. Will they ignore each other? Will they get to talking? Will they reconnect? She loves this person yet she doesn’t want to see them again because of the circumstance of their current relationship. She’s struck with frustration that she has to see them again and has a sense of resentment towards them, most likely because their relationship ended badly. Throughout the song she displays her confusion of feelings towards this person and expresses her mixed emotions of both anger and love. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“I found out from a friend of a friend that you’re here again

What gives you the right to come back to the city that I live in?

Yeah, I know that you grew up here and I know that your family’s here” (Verse 1)

Although her ex grew up in and lived in this city, and is likely back visiting their family, she does not think that they should be there; it is the place that she lives and she does not want to have to see them again. It is evident that they aren’t in contact because she mentions that she found the information of them being back in this city from, not even a friend, but a friend of one of her friends. She is trying to avoid this person because she doesn’t want them to taint her city, which could serve as a callback to “I Hate Boston,” except it’s not just a tourist city to her, it is literally her place of residence.

“So what now?

Should we talk?

If we run into each other on the streets

Should I keep walking?” (Chorus)

She feels unaware of what to do in this situation. The two of them obviously have a deep past, one that probably didn’t end too great, yet she isn’t sure how to address them. Would it be better to strike up a conversation with them as she likely knows them extremely well, or should she completely disregard their existence because of how awkward it can and will be? She doesn’t know, either, how to approach them if she were to see them out and about and want to talk to them. Depending on how upsetting the context of their breakup was, seeing this person again could uncover a lot of pain for her, pain that she does not want to revisit at any time at all.

Reneé’s Commentary– When talking about the song, Reneé mentioned what it was about, saying, “I was seeing this person and we had a really quick in-and-out kind of thing. It was just so intense and I was so mad. So after the situation had subsided, I was like, ‘Are you going to ever speak to me again? Am I supposed to speak to you?’ ‘So What Now’ is just the culmination of this overarching thought of ‘you’re treating me [badly]’ but also ‘I’m not mad at you, but what are we supposed to do?’” (via Apple Music)

7. The Wedding Song 

Synopsis– The chorus of this song is one that Reneé wrote while in a relationship with someone that she truly believed she was going to get married to. Throughout the rest of the song, she recalls the events of how their relationship ended and wonders how this person could’ve ruined something so beautiful. Prior to the chorus, she explains to her ex that this is a song that she wrote for them because she really thought they’d end up together forever, and then tells them how the song would have sounded. She mentions in the track how she would play the song she wrote for her ex to her friends and they’d constantly comment on how amazing it was.  

Lyric Pullouts– 

“You are my one, you set my world on fire

I know there’s Heaven, but we must be higher

I’m gonna love you ’til my heart retires

Forever we’ll last

I think it went something like that” (Chorus)

These lines are synonymous with what she had written for her ex. It is very obvious that she holds so much love for this person, yet they are the reason that the relationship wound up not working out. Through these words, listeners can tell that Reneé had plans to stay with this person for the rest of her life, forever, but her partner did not have these same plans. She wrote this song under the impression that she’d be able to sing it to her partner on their wedding day, but that is something that never got to happen. She knew, though, that this was something she wanted them to hear despite this, so she found a way to be able to sing these words to them, even if they aren’t together anymore.

“Why’d you have to mess it all up?

Why’d you have to burn it all down?

The words were so perfect, the world should’ve heard it

And sang every line out loud” (Bridge)

This song that she wrote was something extremely special to her, something so beautiful that she believed everyone should hear. It is something that she had wanted to eventually release, a love song to her partner, but that was before they became her ex. She blames them for the fact that it will never be able to come out. They are the reason that the relationship did not work out and its, most likely inevitable, end. She asks why they had to do this, why they had to ruin this wonderful thing that they had, because now not only is something so amazing gone from her life, but she also will never get to tell these feelings she has to the person she loves, and never put it out into the world.

Reneé’s Commentary– On the inspiration behind this song, Reneé said, “I was living in New Jersey for work for a few months when I wrote this. I was in a relationship at one point with someone who I thought I was going to marry, and that was the first time that had ever happened to me. And I thought that it would be so just gut-wrenching to be like, ‘I wrote you a wedding song because I thought I was going to be with you forever and I never played it for you, and now you’re never going to hear it because we don’t speak anymore.’ It’s meant to be this really soul-sucking kind of song that’s so happy and beautiful in the chorus, then it’s just so sad in the verses because it’s like, ‘Well, this is what I would’ve said had you stuck around, but you decided to not and that’s just now something that I have to deal with.’” (via Apple Music)

8. Pretty Girls 

Synopsis– This track depicts the subject, a straight woman, wanting to “experiment” relationships with other girls (in particular, the speaker of the song) while still in an active relationship with a man. The subject uses flattery to try and grasp a hold on the speaker and entice her, assuring her that it is something that she wants to do and her current relationship is not an issue or obstacle. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“So you inch a little closer

Say your boyfriend, he wouldn’t mind

You think that I’d be flattered

It’s pathetic ’cause you’re right (Verse 1)

On a night out with her friends, Reneé encounters this girl who is interested in trying to start a relationship with her. The subject mentions her boyfriend yet reiterates that it is no problem and that he does not care that she is out doing this. Reneé notes that it’s not right for her to feel good about the fact that the girl’s boyfriend is okay with what she’s doing (although he likely doesn’t know that that is what’s going on when his girlfriend goes out) yet she can’t help to feel pleased that the subject states that it is not an issue for anyone involved.

In the AM, all the pretty girls

Act like it never happenеd in another world

Yeah, it’s a blessing and it’s a cursе

So keep on pretending pretty girl (Chorus)

After the night ends, the morning comes, and all of the drinking has worn off, the straight girls who indulge in this behavior act as though nothing ever happened the day before. Reneé notes that it is both a good and a bad thing, for likely after a night out she doesn’t want to revisit what happened so if the girl doesn’t want to acknowledge it, then it’s good for the both of them. But, on the contrary, it is not such a great thing as it is forcing the girl to either hide who she really is, lead the speaker on, or both. She knows that this is something that the subject no longer wants to mention, and while she can disguise it from everyone else, there’s no keeping it a secret from herself.

Reneé’s Commentary– Reneé stated that she believes this song to be “the universal gay-girl experience, in [her] opinion.” She followed this statement by saying, “Ever since I became more publicly out, so many straight girls are like, ‘I couldn’t be with a girl, but wow, if I did…’ So it’s just the gay-girl experience of all these straight girls being like, ‘I am either a closeted gay in a way that I don’t understand or I’m just kind of using you as a little prop.’ And that sucks any way you slice it. But in a really sick and twisted way, it’s kind of flattering.” (via Apple Music) 

9. Tummy Hurts 

Synopsis– On this track, Reneé is imagining the future life of her ex and his new partner, how they will probably remain together for the rest of their lives as Reneé once hoped to do with him while they were in a relationship. She is sure that the way that she was hurt will almost positively happen to people in her ex’s life, yet instead of not caring as he did when he brought this pain upon her, he will actually feel bad and do something about it. This song deals with Reneé’s complex range of emotions as well as the heartache and suffering she’s been given from this relationship. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“Now my tummy hurts, he’s in love with her

But for what it’s worth, they’d make beautiful babies

And raise ’em up to be a couple of…

…monsters, like their mother and their father” (Chorus)

The pain of Reneé’s ex falling into love with someone else is manifesting itself as a physical pain as well as emotional pain. She acknowledges that the two of them make a good couple and are both probably good looking and in turn look good together. But, she is also aware of how bad both of them are as people, and that likely is going to be passed down to the children that they will have together. The thought of her ex being with someone else who is not her, is hard to even imagine, but she also understands that he is not a good person and would have caused her even more pain had they stayed together.

“Eventually, 2043

Someone’s gonna hurt their little girl like their daddy hurt me (Chorus)

Mm, like their daddy hurt (Me-e-e-e-e-e-e-e, e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e)” (Bridge)

She is imagining that come 20 years later, her ex and his new partner will still be together and have children at this point. She is also noting that they’ll have a daughter who, like Reneé, will be in a relationship where she is caused an extensive amount of pain by the person she is dating–just how this daughter’s father did to Reneé. In that situation, Reneé’s ex will probably be there to console his daughter as well as be mad at his daughter’s ex for what he did to her, but at this moment will not acknowledge what he’s done to Reneé and won’t try to make up for what he’s done to her.

Reneé’s Commentary– Reneé mentioned that the song came about from having written one of the lyrics in her notes, she stated, “This was the last song we wrote that ended up making the album. It started because I wrote down in my notes one day the sentence ‘My tummy hurts, he’s in love with her.’ It wasn’t really about any specific situation, which is usually where I write from. I love this almost childlike way of saying I have a stomach ache and then this really adult feeling of someone is in love with somebody else. I liked how it felt and I liked how it was worded. And it all came from there.” (via Apple Music) 

10. I Wish 

Synopsis– In this song, Reneé recalls the time when she realized that death was an inevitable part of life and that, eventually, the people that she loves will pass away. She is coming to terms with the concept of death yet still struggles to grasp why this has to happen to anyone, especially the people that mean so much to her. On this track, she explores the feeling of lonesomeness, longing, and loss, and all of the overwhelming emotions that are brought up when she thinks about death and the passing of time. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“I was ten years old when I realized

Some goodbyes are forever

So what’s that mean for you and I?

I thought we’d always be together” (Verse 1)

Reneé most likely had her first real experience with the passing of a loved one when she was ten years old. Although she had probably heard of deaths in her family prior, this is the first one that really resonated with her–one that made her begin to think about the permanence of death. After this happened, it made her start thinking of what would happen when people that are extremely close to her, like her parents, are to die. It’s something that for the first years of your life you don’t really think about, nor is it something constantly on your mind, but when the thought does arise, it’s one that is very hard to get over. She can’t imagine life without these people but she knows, too, that it’d be easier to come to terms with it now rather than when it actually does happen.

Stay a little longer

I’m not ready for you to go

It hasn’t even happened

But I have been mourning since ten years old” (Bridge)

She can’t help but to think of what her life is going to be like once she has to live without the people that she loves. It’s evident that this death has yet to happen and is likely not to happen any time soon, yet she feels a sudden wave of sadness just thinking that it is going to happen at some point. She isn’t prepared to be without them and although she tries to be okay with the fact that it will happen, but is stuck on the heartache that is going to come from it. After understanding the longevity of death, she has begun to grieve for people who haven’t even passed away yet.

Reneé’s Commentary– On this song, Reneé said, “I wrote this when I was living in New Jersey. I was writing with some of my friends and they had come up with a different kind of concept for the chorus and some of the lyrics. They said, ‘Oh, this is like writing a song to your childhood self.’ But for me, it’s reading in a different way. It was more about how I remember my first taste of mortality when I realised my parents were going to die when I was 10. I remember not being able to sleep for such a long time because I was like…my parents are not invincible. I was just so shocked by it and I was so confused. I was young and it was really jarring and I struggled with it for a long time. I think I still do. And so I just wanted to make ‘I Wish’ this sort of love letter to the idea that I wish I didn’t know about the concept of death.” (via Apple Music) 

11. Willow 

Synopsis– Reneé wrote the penultimate track as a dedication to a friend who was having a rough time, likely about getting older and transferring into adulthood. She tries to let this friend know that all will be okay and although there are obstacles in their path and troubles weighing them down, it’s something that they will get through eventually. She wants to take the pain away from her friend and make her feel better while reassuring her that life will go. They’re still adjusting to the new responsibilities that they hold and those difficulties are getting to them. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

Don’t have to use your own tears

Just to grow your own roots

Just keep your passion for flowers

And it’ll patch up your youth” (Verse 2)

She is trying to remind the subject that everything will be okay and that they do not need to focus on the hardships that they’re facing. She is trying to encourage them to spend their energy on doing the things that they love and are passionate about. These lines are all a metaphor for the idea of not expending all this time into wallowing in your own pain and pitying yourself when you could be doing things that bring you joy and happiness. She tells the subject of the song, her friend, that by doing the things that she enjoys then it’ll help to not make this growth so scary.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry, Willow

I’ll cry, Willow


I’ll cry for you” (Chorus)

This person is someone obviously very important to Reneé and she does not want them to be forced into so much pain. She expresses that she’ll be the one to carry the pain for them, to cry and hold their hurt so that they do not have to continue to feel awful. Reneé hopes and desires to alleviate the pain from her friend and will cry their tears for them, not only as a metaphor for taking away their pain, but also to show that she will always be there for them no matter how hard things get.

Reneé’s Commentary– Reneé explains the two inspirations behind the song by saying, “‘Willow’ is two things. Frank Ocean is my favourite songwriter of all time. I didn’t feel like I had any songs on my project that took any lyrical inspiration from him and his projects, and I really wanted there to be. I also loved willow trees as a kid. As I got older, I also thought there was something so interesting about it being called a weeping willow. I felt like I kind of had a lot of similar qualities to this tree, which sounds crazy, but I just always felt that way. I ended up framing it as my little self sitting under a willow tree talking to my current self. It was me personifying the tree as my younger self, which sounds kind of crazy, but it’s one of my favourite songs on the whole album.” (via Apple Music) 

12. 23

Synopsis– The final song on the record is one that she wrote as a lead-up to her 23rd birthday. She’s overthinking about getting older and what the future has to hold for her. She wants to be able to stop constantly worrying but it’s excessively hard to do. She is reflecting on her life up until this point and is looking upon her previous journey to this age. She feels pressured to be the best that she can and is going through feelings of not only disappointment, but also doubting and questioning her own self-worth. SHe feels unfulfilled and as she hasn’t progressed over the past year and is anxious about what is going to come. 

Lyric Pullouts– 

“But tomorrow I turn twenty-three

And it feels like everyone hates me

So, how old do you have to be

To live so young and careless?” (Chorus)

She feels unworthy, like she hasn’t accomplished much, and like she isn’t going to accomplish anything in the coming years. She is constantly doubting herself and doesn’t feel any sort of like or affection from anyone. But, she isn’t sure of how she can stop worrying so much. She sees all these carefree people out and about who are relatively the same age as her and seem to be having the times of their lives and she isn’t sure how she can get to that point. This leads to overthinking about how she can be more like others and believes herself to be not enough and as if she isn’t doing anything right. As she ages she feels like she has more responsibility and more weight on her shoulders, but she also feels like there is no time or way for her to enjoy her youth as she is continuing to get older.

“I hope that I’ll see twenty-four

I hope I’ll understand me more

I hope my bed is off the floor

I hope that I can care less, but I’m afraid to care less” (Outro)

As she is thinking about her future, she is hoping that her life will continue and be better than it is as well. She wants to be able to figure out more about herself, to find who she truly is and explore her interests, despite the difficulty that she may face. Reneé is also expressing her desire to begin caring more about herself and not so much others. She wants to be able to start taking better care of her as well as not worrying about what other people think about her and the obstacles that might come her way. Yet she still feels like her overthinking might be something that she shouldn’t get rid of, because if she doesn’t care as much then maybe she won’t be able to remain focused and passionate about the good things in her life.

Reneé’s Commentary– “I think it’s the first song that Alexander and I did together. I was having full birthday panic the day before I turned 23. I was like, ‘Wow, it’s my birthday, but I feel like all my friends hate me and I feel extremely alone.’ I thought that these feelings would be gone by now, but here I am, a young adult about to be in my Jordan year, and I still feel [bad]. It’s a birthday blues kind of song. Then the outro is this hopeful message that I don’t feel that same way when I’m 24 next year. So the kind of annual terror that comes around your birthday, it’s like wishing that away.” (via Apple Music)


Throughout this album, Reneé visits many different thoughts, feelings, and emotions–all that are raised from specific, important situations in her life. Her powerhouse vocals accompany her beautiful words in order to depict and display what she has gone through. She also ensures to express to listeners that if she was able to get through all the hardships that life has thrown her, then so can her audience, and relays the message that no one is truly alone and that love can be found even in the hardest times. And finally–


1. The Wedding Song

2. I Wish

3. Snow Angel

4. I Hate Boston

5. Talk Too Much

6. Tummy Hurts

7. Gemini Moon

8. Pretty Girls

9. 23

10. Poison Poison

11. So What Now

12. Willow





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