Rex OC’s new “WHO CARES?” album cover.
As a long time fan of Rex Orange County, I’ve been on the edge of my seat since his last album was released in 2020. That album “Pony” was one of the few things that kept me going during perhaps the craziest time of my life. And seeing that I have listened to his new album on repeat everyday since its release, my hyper-fixation has only just begun.
On March 11 of this year, Alex O’Connor, AKA Rex OC, released his new album “WHO CARES?” The album was preceded by three singles as sneak peaks for what the album had in store.
The album is laced with OC’s classic bedroom, jazzy funk sound. Similar to “Pony,” this album seems to have a more positive tone than most of his songs before. Yet, the same cannot be said for the lyrics.
Alex has mastered the art of emotional whiplash in his composition. An overall upbeat song with pessimistic lyrics is his forte. Alex has made it common knowledge through his music that he loves hard and hates harder when it comes to his relationship with himself and others.
The underlying theme throughout is hyper self-awareness and self-reflection. Alex states consistently throughout several songs on this album that he hopes to be a better man someday and that he wants to be more independent than he has previously been.
Upon the first listen, I immediately was biased towards the three songs that had been released as singles before the album’s debut: “AMAZING,” “KEEP IT UP,” and “OPEN A WINDOW.” The familiarity of these songs was something to hold onto amongst the 34-minute album. After listening to the album several times over several weeks, I’ve realized just how special each of these songs are.
When talking to people who have only listened to the album once, the common response was something along the lines of “they all sound the same.” I am here to tell you that they do not, in fact, all sound the same. Any songs that do, have purposeful similarities, almost callbacks of sorts.
The instrumentation throughout the album is beautiful. Alex has always had somewhat orchestral instrumentals within his previous work, and I am happy to report that this album does not disappoint. The string instruments, violin and cello, really have their time to shine.
Listen to this album on a drive, while doing the dishes, or just whenever you can. Alex never fails to get your subconscious thinking, whether you know it or not.
Although all of the songs on the album have landed themselves into my personal playlist and into my Liked Songs on Spotify, I do have some that I prefer over the rest. My personal favorites and recommendations are “7AM,” “THE SHADE,” and “SHOOT ME DOWN.”