‘WHO CARES?’ by Rex Orange County? Everyone cares!

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A lot of fans care about Rex Orange County’s most recent album, “WHO CARES?” which released on March 11.  

Alexander O’Connor, who goes by Rex Orange County, is a 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Hampshire, England. Prior to “WHO CARES?” O’Connor released three previous albums, all of which garnering much success.  

After listening to the album for a short while, it is clear Rex Orange County has a creative vision and understanding of music that goes beyond other artists’ capacity, as he dives into beautiful instrumentals and synths. With strings that sound straight from a symphony, it seems that O’Connor could easily be a professional orchestral composer. 

This is the album you want to hear waking up on a sunny day. The warm, upbeat tunes of the album, combined with his effortless vocals, pair perfectly with the warm spring weather soon upon us. 

On Twitter, O’Connor discussed the motives behind some of his favorite songs on “WHO CARES?”. About the seventh track on the album titled “7AM,” he tweeted, “This song is about not feeling good enough and being like, ‘I’m gonna give up’, when that’s really the last thing you wanna do.” 

He continues to relate to his audience while motivating them to keep going. It seems that the most successful music today is able to juxtapose sad, deep lyrics with an upbeat tone and instrumentals. 

The only featured artist on this album is rapper Tyler, the Creator who had previously given Rex Orange County the spotlight on his album “Flower Boy.” Rex Orange County owes much of his success to Tyler, the Creator, and fans enjoyed their chemistry on the single “OPEN A WINDOW.” The song starts out with the lyrics: “Can I open a window? / Can somebody open the door? / There’s so many reasons / I can barely take it anymore.” As “Genius” points out, there could be a connection to Tyler’s song “New Magic Wand”, where he raps, “Sometimes you gotta close a door to open a window.” 

It is clear that creatively, these two artists are a match made in heaven. The friendship they have formed beyond music has made their joint songs even more special and exciting to interpret. 

Rex Orange County debuted the album in a series of solo concerts from London to Los Angeles to Berlin and more. Many UConn students attended the New York City leg of this concert series. Dedicated fans stood outside for hours in the sleet and snow to see him perform at the Blue Note Jazz Club.  

“It was so unique to experience such a big time artist so up-close and personal,” said fourth-semester student Sydney Salomon, who attended the concert. “His voice sounded even better in-person.” 

The whole concert was a stripped-down version of “WHO CARES?” where Rex Orange County played many of his songs using his voice and the piano or guitar alone on stage. This small, intimate concert experience is a great way for artists to connect with their fans, and it is rare to see an artist with so many fans continue to have these concerts as they rise to fame.  

In addition to the solo concerts, Rex Orange County opened pop-up shops in New York City and London where his merchandise was sold. In New York, the lines to enter the store extended for blocks and blocks, as Rex Orange County was promised to make an appearance.  The merchandise featured a variety of hoodies, jackets, t-shirts and sweatpants. The price range was a bit more than expected, ranging from $75 to $180 dollars; however, the design choice was appealing to fans and merchandise sold out rapidly. 

Rex Orange County is set to tour throughout the U.S. and Europe in 2022. 

Rating: 4.5/5 

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