Zach Galamgam, Guest Writer

Rex Orange County dropped his fourth album on March 11, titled “WHO CARES?” After giving it a thorough listen, Alex O’Connor, aka Rex Orange County, could possibly be one of the best alternative music artists of all time.

As an avid listener of Rex Orange County, I came with high expectations after his 2019 album, “Pony.” With the expectations and anticipation of “WHO CARES?” after a three year break from his last project, it is safe to say that O’Connor came close to perfection in this album. 

This album features more of an alternative lo-fi/pop as opposed to the jazz-like instrumentals of “Pony.” Seeing O’Connor experiment with his musical versatility was a very pleasing surprise, and it ultimately led to a very fun listening experience.

The album takes inspiration from the 2020 lockdown and how it mentally affected him, which provides more relatability for his audience as well, seeing that COVID-19 has negatively impacted everyone in some way or another.

As opposed to Rex Orange County’s “Pony”, focusing more on his struggle to find love and happiness, “WHO CARES?” features more songs about self-affirmation and positivity, which I personally think is what we all needed.

“WHO CARES?” begins with one of the most popular songs out of the album “KEEP IT UP,” which features a very melodic orchestra accompanied by an enthusiastic set of lyrics. “KEEP IT UP” is the perfect start to this album and shows exactly what the rest of the album is about.

My personal favorite song out of the album is “OPEN A WINDOW,” featuring Tyler, The Creator, in which O’Connor and Tyler address the dissatisfactions of living during the lockdown, which provides a very relatable experience for the audience.

The title of the album “WHO CARES?” offers a dual meaning as well. In one way the title expresses the negativity of self-comparison and loneliness, while the other expresses the positivity of not caring what others think, which makes the album an even more impactful listen.

Although Rex really showed a new version of music in his newest album, none of the songs in the album come close in emotional appeal to “Pluto Projector,” introduced in his 2019 album. “Pony” simply has more of an enjoyable set of songs with each song sounding like a whole new project. This was contrasted in “WHO CARES?” as a good portion of the songs often sounded very similar.

Nonetheless Rex Orange County has produced yet another near-perfect album featuring a beautiful orchestra accompanied with emotionally-tolling lyrics. Especially after seeing O’Connor’s growth as an artist, I am extremely excited to see his further development and experimentation of music in future projects.