Rex Orange County’s new album review: ‘WHO CARES?’


Photo courtesy of The Chaparral. ‘WHO CARES?’ banner on Spotify.

On March 11, 2022, Alexander O’Connor, better known as Rex Orange County, released his fourth album, “WHO CARES?”, receiving positive feedback worldwide and drawing attention to his unique music style. The album consists of 11 songs, lasting thirty-four minutes and fifty-five seconds, with three of them falling under explicatory.

Rex is mainly known for his indie and alternative songs and persona. His singing style and lyrics soothe fans’ desire for more music, as his mellow voice interacts with a slow beat, pulling on fans’ heartstrings; they have since requested another album from Rex as soon as possible.

One-year after Rex Orange County’s third album release, he was unsure whether a fourth album would be produced. Rex’s albums have specifically been released two years apart from one another. Thus, fans decided to share their concerns surrounding the indie singer publically. He took three years to make this album, as inspiration struck during his vacation in Amsterdam.

According to Billboard, Rex Orange County received his first UK No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Alternative Albums chart. His last album “Pony,” reached UK No. 5, exerting himself onto mainstream media three years later that he is being recognized globally.

His most notable song is his opening song, “KEEP IT UP,” gaining 16 million plays on Spotify alone. “KEEP IT UP” begins with a quiet royal beat that gains rhythm, masking it into a slow but energetic alternative and indie song. One may consider that this happy rhythm contains lyrics that match the aesthetic. However, his lyrics contain a profound matter that Rex has deliberately faced in the past; depression, putting up a front for his fans and constantly bringing himself down. It begins with him mentioning that every time he speaks, he instantly regrets it and due to the stress of figuring out what to say and how to say it, he has fallen victim to depression. Although Rex shares his matters, the song was not made for self-pity. It was made for Rex himself to “keep it up” and move on; emphasizing in his lyrics, Rex sang, “you no longer owe the strangers, it’s enough, keep it up and go on.”

Two other songs that shortly fall behind include “AMAZING,” which has gained 10 million plays so far, and “OPEN A WINDOW,” a collaboration with artist Tyler, The Creator, accumulating 6 million plays on Spotify. “AMAZING” began with a quiet royal beat, like “KEEP IT UP,” and then jumped into an alternative tune, reminding us of the 60’s sense of music. Meanwhile, “OPEN A WINDOW” gave a jazzy yet pop feeling. This song was the only song to feature a collab from the entire album. While Rex added the soothing vocals to “OPEN A WINDOW,” Tyler, The Creator came in rapping, tying the whole song together and marking it a fan favorite by many.

The three explicatory songs “ONE IN A MILLION,” “IF YOU WANT IT” and “7 AM” produced catchy rhythms with catchy lyrics. However, as they are marked explicatory, one must listen at their own risk since profanity is included in these songs.

Every song spoke about the troubles Rex went through from beginning to end. However, every song also listed words of affirmation as he pierced his way through the music industry. Nevertheless, throughout the entire album, it is clear that Rex is sharing a piece of himself and his thinking process with his fans, but when you listen even further, he is sharing his thinking process within himself. He accepts that he will never be “normal,” nor will he seem ordinary to others, but that is okay because ultimately ‘WHO CARES?’

To listen to “WHO CARES?” by Rex Orange County on Spotify. To listen to the album on Apple Music.