KEEP IT UP Rex Orange County!

Rex Orange County releases a new album as of March 11th

Gracelyn Perrine, Opinions Editor

Rex Orange County is an English music artist, incorporating alternative, bedroom pop, and even soul into a mesh of music highly enjoyed by many. His work has gained a large following, with 14,672,732 monthly listeners as stated by Spotify. His past albums, including Pony, Apricot Princess, and Bcos U Will Never B Free each contain 10 songs; however, he altered this pattern with his new album WHO CARES? with 11 songs in total. Many fans were stoked to find that Tyler, The Creator also had a feature in the second song, Open a Window. This album came out on March 11, 2022, and has an array of feelings in regards to the mere memorability of the art. 

The album takes off with KEEP IT UP, a clear example of a song with emotional contrast. This piece has upbeat instrumentals, eliciting a feel-good type of vibe to the average listener. However, when digging deeper into the lyrics of the song, it is clear that the artist is struggling with the feelings of mental disparity and the lack of persistence in day to day life, as he is consistently reminding himself throughout the choruses to “keep it up”, staying true to the title of the song. A lyric that stood out to me personally was “Most my life I’ve felt so tired, But every now and then when I try, I say, Keep it up and go on”. As a listener, I can appreciate the heart Rex puts into this piece, creating art that can swing both ways to help indulge any music lover, or even average person in society. 

Because KEEP IT UP was a great start to the album, WHO CARES? hooked me instantly. It has a very jazzy and soul feeling to it, reminding me of a summer filled with friends, windows down, and spontaneous moments. To add, if you are an avid fan of Tyler, the Creator, this song may intrigue you to look into the discography of Rex Orange County. The two artists mesh well, despite the artistic differences in style and true genre. 

After listening through the whole album, the theme of motivation to keep pushing to the next day is ultimately consistent. In the song AMAZING, it reiterates the point that each person is in fact, amazing, on their own, despite their personal hardships or struggles. While the theme amongst this album can sometimes be seen as tacky, or cliche, I think it is detrimental in today’s world to have influences such as this. Rex’s demographic tends to be younger people, such as teens; having an artist that puts these encouraging, self-reflecting words into music that is enjoyable to many is an incredible step forward for self love. 

After reflecting upon other reviews and listener’s ponderings, it is clear that many enjoy the consistent genre of music released from Rex, and he has some truly loyal fans. I have personally never been an avid listener, but after listening to this album, I can see myself turning to this album on a day where I feel unmotivated or dreary. I believe that it fits perfectly into the category of “bedroom pop”, which is already an interest of mine when it comes to music. Overall, I would highly recommend this album, and artist, to anyone who enjoys alternative/indie music or is looking for relatable, and soulful, art. Rex Orange County continues to uplift listeners with not only his music, but heartfelt and honest words.