From start to finish Charli XCX's new album shows that the underground pop icon knows exactly who she is.
. The opening track titled "Next Level Charli" on her fifth studio album "Charli" begins with the line "I go hard, I go fast, and I never look back." This confident beginning to a new era, or should I say level is perfect. If you're looking for an unpredictable, never dull, fun and ambitious project, your search is over. The "Boom Clap" singer has definitely found a sound that is truly her own. She is not overstating when she claims that she is the future of pop.
CROSS YOU OUT (FEAT. SKY FERREIRA)
With its swelling, gritty bass line and twinkling synths, "Cross You Out" is a perfect balance of dark and light sounds as well as balancing retro and futuristic styles. This track's pulsing 80's-esque toms and airy vocals from Charli and Sky could make it a hit in 1988 or 2088. It definitely was one of the first tracks on this project that made my ears perk up.
CLICK (FEAT. KIM PETRAS AND TOMMY CASH)
This will definitely be one of the songs I add to my party playlist for 2020. "Click" proves that as experimental as Charli's music may become, she still has the knack for writing a catchy hook that you won't be able to stop singing in the shower. With its cocky swagger and choppy lyrical rhythms, "Click" doesn't take itself too seriously. Charli, Kim and Tommy all bring amusing tones which make this one of my favorites on the album. The only drawback I have with the track is the jarring ending which honestly, I always skip. It's unfortunate because the rest of the song's production is extremely well done. Even with the ending's drawbacks I appreciate the futuristic vison.
My thoughts about the seventh track are only positive. The simplicity in this track in comparison to the rest of the project is refreshing. The brassy synth which grounds the song flows beautifully. I truly hope this is the song I hear when I go to heaven.
"Silver Cross" begins with a harp like synth giving this track a softer beginning than many of the other songs on the project. Unexpectedly, the dubstep bass line that introduces the chorus is almost the opposite. Though these two elements of the song are boldly different they work very well. The production on "Silver Cross" is generally exciting and well executed.
2099 (FEAT. TROYE SIVAN)
Just as it started, Charli's 5th album ends with a confident and independent spirit. Though I don't greatly appreciate the synths that are used to introduce the song, the rest of the piece makes up for it. Again, production on this track is flawless and there is some lovely panning ear candy about midway through the song, so keep an ear out for that.
Until now I have never listened to much of Charli XCX's music but I was pleasantly surprised by this project's ambition and courage. It is not your typical chart topping pop album and it certainly is an invigorating listen. Though I didn't like every arrangement or synth used, "Charli" truly is next level. From start finish the album is unique, interesting and cutting edge. I'm really glad I found another artist who is dedicated to pushing the limits of music and I'm excited for what Charli will bring to the table in the future. "Charli" is a solid 8 out of 10.
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