Rex Orange County - 'WHO CARES?'

7/10

Ever since he first emerged in the mid 2010s, singer and songwriter Alexander O'Connor aka Rex Orange County has always been skirting the boundary between the commercial and underground spaces. While dabbling in glossy and radio-friendly material on his previous full-length 'Pony', he has always wanted to distance himself from the mainstream avenue, regularly experimenting with a more interesting and diverse aesthetic within his work. And now it feels he has found his perfect balance as he unveils his fourth full-length 'WHO CARES?', a record that feels like the training wheels are now off.

Throughout the last few releases, our main criticism of Rex Orange County is that he had a habit of playing it too safe. Churning out the odd obvious hit record that never really felt it fit in with his core sound. But for 'WHO CARES?', he throws caution to the wind more often than before, giving us a warmer and more enigmatic collection. While he still toes that line on some of these cuts, the majority of the LP sees him pursue a woozy and more progressive direction, making for a wonderfully enticing listen that feels like he has finally found his own voice within this genre.

A fresh and enjoyable album that feels far more confident and reassured within its sound. Rex Orange County has always been one to give a more adventurous voice to the pop world, and 'WHO CARES?' feels like he is finally discovering exactly the kind of artist he should be.

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