Charli XCX: Charli (Atlantic) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Charli XCX

Charli

Atlantic

Sep 11, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


No one would dare to call the music of Charlotte Aitchison minimalist. The artist better known as Charli XCX has spent the better part of the past decade gradually shifting the pop landscape, from adding to the radio canon ("I Love It," "Boom Clap," "Fancy"), to hyping up artists from around the globe (Tommy Cash, PC Music, Kim Petras, etc.). 2017's mixtape Pop 2, Charli's opus, was a 10 track blend of experimental pop maximalism that played like a DJ-Kicks dance mix for the end of the world. Charli has followed up this feat with her third proper studio album Charli, an album that is no less jam-packed than its predecessor but overstays its welcome a bit too long.    

Charli is in many ways a musical continuation of Pop 2. Helmed by Charli and PC Music head A.G. Cook, beats dip and whir and drop out on a moment's notice. Christine and the Queens-assisted single "Gone" ends with a glitch and drum deconstruction centered on the chorus "Why do we keep when the water runs?/Why do we love if we're so mistaken?" Posse cut "Shake It," featuring Big Freedia, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy, and Pabllo Vittar, draws heavily from the famed Busta Rhymes remix "Touch It." The track takes its cue from its title, bouncing and shaking as each artist brings their own flavor to the party. Charli XCX is a master of melding unique voices into one cohesive track, and much of Charli is no exception.

But while Pop 2 was a rollercoaster that refused to relent, Charli at times tends to drag. The second half of the record doesn't match the immediacy of the first, with tracks like "Official" and "February 2017" feeling out of place in the grand scheme of the record. Despite these brief lulls, Charli is another winning release from an artist who won't be stopped in pushing pop music into the 22nd century. (www.charli-the-album.co.uk)

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