Who Cares?

A letter about positivity through an artist breakthrough

Rex Orange County


Photo courtesy of Spotify

Rex Orange county releases his new album “Who Cares?” on March 11, filled with positive messages and catchy beats.

Zianya Salgado, Staff Reporter

After two years of no new albums, Rex Orange County (Alexander James O’Connor) released “Who cares?” a playlist full of blissful songs. This set of songs is different from his usual melancholy love songs, like his previous album “Pony.” With positive feedback from fans and quirky new merch arriving with the theme of the album, we enter a new era in his music history.

When first starting the album I was excited to listen to his regular, almost routine-like beats and symbolic instrument that every musician has for their own. Instead I was exposed to a world of different ways someone could use a classic instrument to express emotions and subliminal messages sung throughout each song. Spreading positive messages, Rex Orange County creates yet another great album.

Starting off with a sequence of violins, the lyrics of “Keep It Up” sets the theme for the album. Rex sings about how frustrating it is to overthink and not owing anything to other people. The tune is upbeat and the lyrics are very catchy with the same violin sequence weaved through each lyric. Throughout the song I could also hear other vocals and sounds infused into the overall result.

An almost groove-like beat starts off the only song on the album with a featured artist. During this song I noticed the poetic lyrics of Rex talking about how he feels about what others think. Tyler the Creator, an American rapper, has collabed with Rex on a couple songs and they always create a unique sound together. For this song, Tyler had a short portion towards the end rapping about his perspective and the fact that in his world, he concur, is modest and honest, not caring about others’ opinions about him.

At first “Worth It” starts off with a slow instrumental fragment building up to a larger picture. Rex jumps into the song with the message of self reflection and the hard lessons to learn to get to self love. The melody switches between high-paced music and slow portions. Sometimes it’s hard to hear Rex’s vocals as it seems to be crowded by the tunes.

“Amazing” was released before the entire album so it gave fans an idea of what the album would be like. It was a great representation of the set of songs following as it also accompanied with a sweet music video. The video shows the love of two thumbs, a showcase of his new colorful and unique merch. This track is one ideal of his regular songs but was still catchy. The lyrics spoke to the audience listening with a note to not change a thing about ourselves.

The fifth track of the album “One in a Million”, my favorite, starts off slower, taking us back to his usual songs but with a twist of stronger beats and cuts of astonishing vocals. The beat catches my attention, stronger than usual with a powerful emotion in his voice. The song takes me back to his past album where he sang about his relationship with his girlfriend. The lyrics are about a certain person that he seems to have strong feelings towards. With the mixture of strong vocals and heartfelt lyrics, this song intertwines two feelings in one. The next song, “If You Want It,” was different to hear because it was mixed with techno and piano. It was repetitive and I started to get bored halfway through the song. His voice was portrayed in a different way that sounded robotic and faded. It also felt short even with the three minutes of tunes being performed. 

Coming up was “7AM.” The song starts with an exciting tune. Rex hypes himself up, showing us his thoughts from before and how they have changed. It was a back and forth plea of love and hate. The melody was slower than the previous songs but still left a part of the beat behind in my mind. Following was “The Shade” which revisited open wounds, talking in a voice of infatuation and romanticizing.

A short set of songs follow. “Making time” adds some R&B to the album. It was short and had a nostalgic ending. It had violin-like rhythms mixed with vocals that created a very smooth sound. Subsequently, “Shoot me down,” a song talking about Rex’s fear of being lonely and experiencing heartbreak, hits me with a good lead to the ending. The vocals and different tones give me goosebumps. Following shortly after is an instrumental, almost poetic faded ending. The last song on the album “Who Cares?” wraps everything together with a nice bow. The lyrics are layered with different beats and a final message of confidence. 

Throughout this album, I was left with amazing beats and tremendous lyrics talking about self love and positivity. There were some moments where it was hard to follow and a little repetitive, but overall it did not disappoint. An obvious letter was sent to the audience listening that strongly persuaded the idea, “Who Cares?”.