Who Cares? – Rex Orange County
Sydney Davis March 30, 2022
Who Cares? By Rex Orange County Album Review
By: Sydney Davis
Who Cares? We do, Rex Orange County, we do. After seeing the title of Rex Orange County’s latest album Who Cares? listeners can take a wild guess that the album will have a somber theme to it overall. Released on March 11,2022, the album became ROC’s fourth studio album. This may be surprising to some who are more familiar with ROC from features on the Grammy-nominated album Flower Boy, by Tyler, the Creator.
The first single and track of the album is “KEEP IT UP”, which is not somber at all. is reminiscent to a song you would hear in a musical with a dance scene in street (get the picture). Even though this was not the case I did enjoy the official music video that follows ROC around Amsterdam and shows off some of his dance moves. I think that was a cool second option. ROC said he wrote the song when he “didn’t want to keep it up and didn’t feel very good”, and it serves as an encouraging song to make it through the hard times and invest in what one wants themselves.
“OPEN A WINDOW” is the only song on the album that has a feature, and it is of none other than Tyler, the Creator. Following the theme of just having enough, ROC uses a window in this song as a metaphor. The space he is confined represents being stuck in life and wanting to escape via “the window” to a new experience. Tyler continues with this in his lines “Open door, but you can’t, try to run, but you pant, out of breath, you can’t vent, ’cause the AC actin’ up”. These lines capture the point of this song greatly by giving the listener the example of how sometimes the external pressures of life can feel suffocating and the goal is to get away from it all to a free space to just relax and breathe.
The next track “WORTH IT” is similar to the titular track “WHO CARES?” because they both ponder the question of what really matter to him along with if others even care about him and what he’s going through. These are both slight changes in message where ROC is less motivational and more frustrated viewpoint. “7AM” fully culminates the idea of giving up on himself and his struggles after reaching his breaking point and having no idea how to move on from there.
“AMAZING” and “ONE IN A MILLION” are odes to a romantic interest. They give the interest all the praise and love. Lines such as “Don’t change a thing, you are amazing”, and “It’s crazy what you mean to me”, help showcase the deep affection the singer conveys to their partner. “IF YOU WANT IT”, “THE SHADE”, and “SHOOT ME DOWN” all explore ROC detailing his own perceived flaws while imploring someone (maybe the same love interest) to stay around with him despite them in hopes they could still make it work.
Who Cares? Is more than just your “sad-boy-next-door” vibe. I commend Rex Orange County for expressing his struggles but still being affirming throughout. It in a way gives listeners an album to be in their feels slightly but feel-good after. I think this album will stand to be a staple for Rex Orange County for the years to come.
Favorite Track: “ONE IN A MILLION” and “SHOOT ME DOWN”