The new wave of pop
Charlotte Emma Aitchison, better known by her stage name Charli XCX, became internationally recognized back in 2013 with her feature in “I Love It” by Icona Pop. However, the English singer-songwriter has been active in the music scene playing in warehouse parties and at raves since 2007. While her debut didn’t chart as anticipated in 2013, the following year she joined Iggy Azalea on the Grammy-nominated track “Fancy” and once again popped onto mainstream radar. Last year, she opened for Taylor Swift on her Reputation Stadium Tour and she has also worked on famous songs such as Iggy Azalea’s “Beg for It,” Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” and most recently, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s popular summer bop “Senorita.”
In her latest album release, Charli, listeners get to hear more of her famous collaborations, but we also get to hear some of her greatest solos yet. The album kicks off with track “Next Level Charli” which has that classically poppy EDM sound that features on many Charli XCX tracks coupled with her rap-like verses that win us over with their catchiness. There is some emotional vulnerability in the sound and lyrics of “White Mercedes” such as “Don’t say you love me/ ‘cause I can’t say it back” and “Swallow my feelings/ but won’t swallow my pride.”
This project incorporates many different aspects of the pop genre. For example, on the track “Warm (feat. HAIM),” listeners can hear some of that ’80s pop synth sound the Haim sisters are so famous for; fans get even more of that influence in “Gone” featuring Christine and the Queens that has a very classic ’80s vibe. We also get a slight taste of fun ’90s bubblegum pop with track “1999” featuring Troye Sivan. We hear a bit more of Charli XCX’s electronic-pop sound and distorted vocals on her track “Thoughts.” There are even traces of Hip-Hop on the album thanks to tracks like “Blame It On Your Love (feat. Lizzo)” and “Shake It (feat. Big Freedia, CupcakKe, Brooke Candy & Pabllo Vittar).” Finally, listeners get a bit of that experimental indie-pop sound in “February 2017 (feat. Clairo & Yaeji).”
This album filled with infectious beats, typical tongue-in-cheek pop lyrics and musical diversity that not many can accomplish, showcases exactly how Charli XCX has managed to make waves in the industry over the past decade.