Rex Orange County — WHO CARES? — Album Review
Alternative | Indie
I had heard little dabbles of the musical project owned by Hampshire singer-songwriter Alexander James O’Connor, known as Rex Orange County before properly listening to my first personal gateway album of his. Primarily, this was in collaboration with hip-hop innovator Tyler, the Creator, who for some reason, favours this artist quite a bit.
Nevertheless the “first gateway album” I mentioned earlier would be Rex Orange County’s 2019 album Pony, the third studio record in the singer’s discography. However, a review of this album wouldn’t come until the very end of that same year, when I decided to commence my last minute reviews week of 2019.
Now arriving in 2022, Rex Orange County’s next studio album would serve as the first that I would actually take the appropriate time to listen to. Its name; WHO CARES?
In slight contradiction to what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I had only listened to this albums contents after the full thing was released. And while Rex Orange County did have three tracks to tease WHO CARES?, they were all released after after the very beginning of 2022, meaning that this album cycle came around fairly fast. But either way, I was glad that I was able to go into this thing with somewhat of a blank slate in regards to what I could expect.
However, I did have the stylistic framework of the last album to go off of. And it’s safe to say that WHO CARES? has just as much of a cute, wholesome, and uplifting approach as Pony. Not only that, but these lovestruck elements that both albums carry are boosted by soaring classical strings in the case of WHO CARES?.
These two elements tick two big boxes; those being the contextual mood and musical atmosphere. Both of these tie in extremely well to the now warming time of year, that being the true first segment of spring. Listening to the fluttering strings and Alexander’s lovesick lyrics feel incredibly apt for one of my favourite times of the year. Thus, it will surely stand as an incredibly memorable album in the scope of 2022 as a whole.
Primarily thanks to how well-tied-together the album as a whole is, pretty much all of the tracks on here felt enjoyable by ranging degrees. Not to say that these tracks don’t stand incredibly well on their own, however. I would say that the opening segment of this album especially was a huge highlight of the overall record, and getting an album off to a good start is incredibly important.
I must say that very few albums that share the same kind of “make it as lovable and as cutesie of an album contextually as possible” approach, actually manage to pull that element off. But WHO CARES? is a rare breed, in the sense that it clearly had me on board from the very get-go.
Favourite Tracks: OPEN A WINDOW | WORTH IT | THE SHADE
Least Favourite Track: MAKING TIME