Rex Orange County’s new album Who Cares? doesn’t contain any new ideas from Alexander O’Connor except for a collaboration with Tyler the Creator returning to his roots, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
It’s like Lays chips. Is it what you reach for if you want something exciting? No, but it’s comforting and delicious nonetheless. Another metaphor for you: this album is like a cutie orange. There are a million like it, but it’s sweet and refreshing and bursts in your mouth. (One in a million, haha).
I saw Rex Orange County when I was in my first years of high school at The Showbox in Seattle. Not the cool one at Pike Place Market– the one that’s just outside of town near the baseball stadium. I was lost in a sea of white middle-class teenagers slowly bobbing in time to Rex Orange County laying it down after the release of his Apricot Princess album, which is my favorite to this day. Whether you like him or not, you’ve got to admit that he’s established his niche for depressed young people.
The songs he writes fit into approximately three categories:
Battling depressive thoughts
Struggling with lost love
Praising his love
And personally? I don’t think he has to branch out. You don’t need to try new things to be amazing. This album is much of the same background-wise as well– he tends to feature orchestral interludes in all of his music, the occasional saxophone and of course an easy-to-follow beat. He alternates between spoken word (I hesitate to call it rap) and clean simple melodies.
It’s ideal music to play in the car and sing along to… or to play while you lay on your floor when you need to wonder, “who cares?”
“It's not worth it anymore, I feel insane /
And I'm not sure why things change /
What's worth it anymore? /
Am I not the same?”
“I went out to Amsterdam /
Just so I could givе you some space /
But I kept opеning my door /
Just to see if you would walk through /
But now I'm painting all my walls /
Just to see if you like the shade”
Milo Openshaw (he/him) is the opions editor for The Front winter '22. He's a junior majoring in creative writing with a teaching endorsement. This year he will read 60 books and write at least one.
You can reach him at email@example.com or you can find him on Instagram @miloohno if you want to see him. Or don't. (I wouldn't recommend it.)