Charli XCX - “Charli” Album Review
Charlotte Aitchison, who better is better recognized by her stage name Charli XCX, is one of England’s hidden gems. Charli XCX has just released her third studio album titled “Charli,” and although Charli XCX is not yet a household name or a staple of modern pop, that’s OK.
Ever since her young career as a teenager, Charli XCX has spoken about how bland all the pop hits are, going as far to say that the people who produce them are brainwashed. Charli XCX herself has been in the spotlight for a few years now as one of those names that could explode into the mainstream. However, she is 27 now and has not yet met those steep expectations, but one could argue that she is in the perfect place with her career. She is in a position where she can release the music that she wants to release and have fun while doing it. This is reflected in “Charli,” a colorful album that personifies the ups and downs of her lifestyle. Compared to previous efforts, Charli XCX’s work has matured but is still as energetic as ever.
What Charli XCX is providing listeners with is not mainstream radio music but rather something more complex. That is not to say there are not any hits on the album, but “Charli” is not your conventional pop album.
“Charli” pushes the boundaries, with heavy emphasis on electric sounds and distortions. It’s a very modern approach to pop music, and the creativity is easy to appreciate. Despite some of the songs lacking structure, Charli XCX is on point when it comes to delivering catchy hooks.
The album opens with the easy-listening “Next Level Charli,” a relatively tame yet fun introduction to the album. The next song “Gone” gives listeners a feeling about what it is like to deal with anxiety. Charli XCX is transparent with her feelings on this album, and she uses this to her advantage, continuing this trend with the tune “Cross You Out.”
The next songs “1999” and “Click” are full of life and show that Charli XCX was having fun making her latest project. Charli XCX herself said that Kim Petras had the best verse on the album with her guest appearance on “Click,” so much so that Charli XCX said that when she heard the verse that Petras sent back to her, she knew she had to rewrite her own verse because it was that good.
Songs eight through 10 are the closest thing on the album to mainstream radio hits. Charli XCX recruited an undeniable superstar in Lizzo for their collaboration on “Blame It on Your Love,” and Charli XCX said herself on Twitter that “White Mercedes” is her version of an anthem and one of her personal favorites from the album.
“Silver Cross” has the energy of a party song with its jumping bassline. “We go out all night/Makes the pain hurt a little less,” Charli XCX sings, detailing trust issues, romantic blunders and hangovers.
“Shake It” shows that Charli XCX is not afraid to be adventurous with her sound, and pushes the boundaries with her heavy distortion. “Shake It” has the most futuristic sound on the project, for better or worse.
“Charli” offers something for all kinds of listeners, especially with her deep list of guest features. Although Charli XCX is more known for her upbeat bangers, her ability to be personable and connect with the audience is really what makes “Charli” shine.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Click,” “Silver Cross”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Shake It”
Connor Trask is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.