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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

On The Beat: “WHO CARES?” by Rex Orange County


A few weeks ago, I saw Alexander James O’Connor, better known as Rex Orange County, tweet that his new album would drop on March 11. I gave it a like, and for the next week, my Twitter feed was bombarded with suggested Rex Orange County fan tweets about everything from his lyrics to his outfits. I took that as a sign to review the new album once it dropped.

In my experience, Rex makes sweet, sad songs. One of his earlier projects, “Apricot Princess,” is chock-full of bittersweet tunes, such as “Apricot Princess” and “Happiness.” “WHO CARES?,” while still bittersweet, is much more upbeat and feels instrumentally happier. 

For example, the album’s opening song, “KEEP IT UP,” begins with a beautiful string section. Once the drums kick in, the song becomes much more upbeat. While the verses express Rex’s self doubt and anxieties, the chorus is reassuring; what you’re doing to keep going is enough, so keep it up.

One of my favorite tracks was “OPEN A WINDOW” because of the inclusion of Tyler, the Creator. His low vocals are almost soothing, matching up with Rex’s vibey instrumental. The song felt like something off of Tyler’s “Flower Boy.”

Most of the songs on the album are relatively simple, consisting of percussion, vocals and some sort of instrumental riff, like the aforementioned string section in “KEEP IT UP” or the church organ in “IF YOU WANT IT.” 

While one could argue these songs don’t have much substance, I think the album’s simplicity is charming. Rex Orange County is made up of one person, so the music’s straightforward sound is more genuine.

Admittedly, the album’s plain vibe sometimes leaves something to be desired. While all of these songs are cute, none of them are fantastic. The music didn’t capture me in the same way some of my favorite albums do. But that doesn’t mean the music was bad by any means. 

“WHO CARES?” if the music is simple? 



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