Rex Orange County breaks through with new album ‘Who Cares?’


Ema Paskevicius

Rex Orange County performs his 2019 ‘Pony’ album at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on Jan. 27, 2020. This was one of his last live and in person performances before COVID hit.

Ema Paskevicius, Copy Editor

Anyone who listens to Rex Orange County (ROC) knows that the 23-year-old artist often paints himself as drowning in anthems of self doubt. On March 11, ROC released a more uplifting and jubilant album, titled “Who Cares,” revealing a brighter sense of light amidst the obstacles he and his audience may be facing. With about 14 million monthly listeners on his Spotify platform, the 11 new songs featured in this album display a rollercoaster of emotions and a newfound sense of self-awareness.

Fans have been eagerly waiting for over three years for the release of “Who Cares,” as his last album, “Pony,” released in 2019, showed a tremendous breakthrough in the hardships ROC went through. His recent album reveals an even happier tone; all of the album tracks are written in all caps. Although some of the songs don’t seem out of the ordinary for ROC, the production and detail towards the creation of the album make up for it.

The first track on the album, and the one that stood out to me the most, was titled “KEEP IT UP,” with soothing vocals that were paired perfectly with electronic and upbeat melodies. Alongside the fast-paced beat, the lyrics were uplifting and motivating, which is something that we don’t hear too often from ROC. He sings about the importance of standing strong even when things get hard to handle and the importance of doing things that make you happy, no matter what anyone else has to say.

“Keep it up and go on / Yeah, you’re only holding out for what you want / You no longer owe the strangers / It’s enough, it’s enough.”

Throughout the album, ROC flawlessly intertwines cheerful and entertaining melodies that perfectly match the relatable lyrics. Another favorite of mine from the album was easily “ONE IN A MILLION,” where ROC tugs pulls at his vocals, while reminding his audience to be self-aware during a relationship. He reveals his loyalty vulnerability within the lyrics, focusing on the joyous, but fearful part of love.

“My heart keeps driving me crazy / There’s nothing much I can do, I’m aware / There’s no one quite like you / You’re one of one, one in a million, woah.”

Most of the tracks in “Who Cares?” display a striking fusion of radiant energy, but there were quite a few tracks that disappointed me, both lyric and sound wise. Though ROC is known for his subtle and soothing vocals, some of the tracks didn’t seem to fit in with the others; they were slow-moving and low tempo songs that pulled away from his showcase of personal growth. One of these tracks includes “Who Cares?,” surprisingly enough.

“All the things I used to dream about / Got too far from reach / Now I don’t know what’s happened to me”

The “Who Cares?” album was definitely one to remember; it fits almost any mood, satisfies the mindsets that people have towards themselves and towards others and it opens up the eyes to a different perspective on celebrating and loving life.

If you haven’t listened to any songs by ROC, this may be the album that’s worth the time to listen to. ROC will start his tour on May 4 in Miami Florida and will work his way up to perform for fans in Chicago on June 24.