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"Charli" by Charli XCX

Charli XCX’s new self-titled album ‘Charli’ is one of the most intense pop albums of 2019. ‘Charli’ is Charli XCX’s third studio album with multiple features from a wide range of artists; including big names like Troye Sivan and Lizzo. Charli’s songwriting and production gives the album the strength to be played at parties and pop up on the charts; while also being able to sit with the listener, and give them something to think about. ‘Charli’ has a fair balance of light poppy songs and heavy tracks that hold you down. As mentioned before, you can have a lot of fun with this album, but it can also accompany those late-night thoughts that keep you awake. The album opens with the track “Next Level Charli”. With a fairly obvious title, this track is the introduction into Charli’s new sound that she wants for this album; futuristic, free, and fun. “I go hard, I go fast, And I never look back” sings Charli in the chorus. This lyric sets the scene for the rest of the album, and the sounds it carries. Songs such as “Cross you Out” and “Click” are some of the fun and fast paced songs, with heavy instrumentals and fun lyrics. On the softer side of the album, songs such as “Warm” and “Official” feature Charli’s softer vocals, and simpler, softer instrumentals. One of the biggest themes off of the album are the futuristic and techy vibes that it gives off. On the album, the songs “1999”and “2099” have an obvious connection. First, both have features from Troye Sivan. But there is also a deeper, lyrical connection that can be made between the tracks. In “1999” Charli sings how she wants to back to the good old days, and seems quite happy throughout the song. The song itself is rhythmic and one of the songs at the album that you can see yourself having fun to. Comparably, “2099” opens with the futuristic and intense instrumentals that have been seen throughout some other songs on the album. These two songs can possibly symbolize the change in Charli’s style of songwriting and production in general. Compared to her earlier works, which can be compared to traditional pop and pop rock, ‘Charli’ is a huge shift in sound and style. “1999” represents her earlier styles, while “2099” represents the direction that Charli wants to move towards. Overall ‘Charli’ is a great listen, with a wide variety in sound, but that still follow the new style that Charli is trying to capture. Some of the best songs off the album include: “Gone”, “1999”, and “Blame It on Your Love”. All in all, the concepts and ideas, along with experimentation of new sounds give the album it’s strength and body; but the repetition of those same sounds is something that can make the album feel like it is dragging, and make it hard to differentiate between songs. Besides that, ‘Charli’ is a great listen, and is highly recommended to any heavy pop or pop rock fans. Rating: 4/5

-By: Daniel Curry

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