From her opening line, “I go hard, I go fast and I never look back,” Charli XCX shows she is a trailblazer and the future of pop.
Charli XCX’s latest album, self-titled “Charli,” was released for purchase and streaming on Sept. 13. Fans had not had a new album from her since 2014.
While Charli XCX has released two mixtapes, “Number 1 Angel” and “Pop 2,” she was finally comfortable enough to release her third album.
Her album opens with “Next Level Charli,” a song using her signature ingredients: PC-synths, watery vocals and a monotonous cry for partying. “Gone,” her second track and recent single, is a collaboration with Christine and the Queens. The duet describes how being in a crowded place can make one feel alone. The two artists arrive at a breaking point in the song and explode over the dramatic synths.
“Cross You Out,” featuring Sky Ferreira, is about a breakup that one finally learns to get over. Charli’s first single, “1999,” features Troye Sivan; and focuses on reminiscing of growing up in the ‘90s. “Click” has two collaborators, Kim Petras and Tommy Cash. The song is full of digital noise with a chainsaw-like outro.
“Warm,” another collaboration, but with pop-rock band Haim, describes a rocky relationship over a mellow electronic beat. “Thoughts” is a ballad with Charli wondering if her friends are genuine. Her second single, “Blame It on Your Love,” features new artist Lizzo. The song is actually a re-worked version of “Track 10” from her “Pop 2” mixtape.
With “White Mercedes,” Charli sings about how she feels she isn’t good enough for her partner. “Silver Cross” is a heartbreak ballad that is about a self-destructive passion. “I Don’t Wanna Know” is another love song, but about worrying you might lose someone. “Official” is the standout ballad from her album. It’s breathtakingly hopeful, with Charli singing about the little details that make her realize her love is real.
“Shake It,” the song many of her fans were anticipating, features Big Freedia, Cupcakke, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar. Similar to Charli’s past songs “I Got It” and “Lipgloss,” “Shake It” is the pop anthem that is full of an army of talented singers.
“February 2017” is a personal song, featuring Clairo and Yaeji, which details events that occurred after the 59th Grammy Awards. The song deals with the deconstruction of a relationship. The closing track, “2099,” features Sivan again, but this time is the opposite of “1999” by being dark and experimental.
So if you’ve been keeping count, that is 15 tracks with 13 collaborators with at least eight of those collabs being queer artists—yet another example of Charli XCX using her platform to uplift LGBT musicians.
Not only a singer, Charli has co-written many songs for various artists. From Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” to “Señorita” by Shawn Mendez and Camila Cabello, Charli XCX has proven how talented she is.
While she hasn’t received as much attention in the United States as she does in the United Kingdom, Charli XCX is a glamorous mess that shows her vision in every song she produces, writes and sings.