Charli XCX (real name Charlotte Atchison) is an English born pop singer who is dropping her debut full length album “True Romance” on April 16th via IAMSOUND. To say this record has been a long time coming is quite the understatement. Having released two singles in 2008 (which she’d rather everyone forget about) and a series of singles and EPs throughout 2012, it is finally here.
Opening track “Nuclear Season” really sets the tone for what Charli has to offer. It’s spacey beats and inescapable hooks build up to what I can only describe as “astro-pop”. It honestly sounds like it’s from an alien synth-wave dimension, which is definitely not a bad thing. “You (Ha Ha Ha)” is Charli’s take on Gold Panda’s track of the same name. It’s simple, but effective, blending shiny production with brash lyrics telling her boyfriend “good job / you fucked it up,” continuing Charli’s girl power attitude conveyed on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (which she wrote).
Charli XCX’s “You (Ha Ha Ha)”
“Take My Hand” is definitely a top track from the album, showcasing Charli’s love for quasi Spice Girls-esque rhythms. It’s head-bopping and heart stopping, like being right next to a large speaker at a concert. Charli is no doubt having fun on this track, begging her friend “don’t go to sleep, let’s go out.”
Charlie XCX’s “Nuclear Season”
“Grins” and “Set Me Free” go well together, with the latter begging to become Charli’s next single. “Black Roses”, “How Can I”, and previous single “You’re the One” continue to showcase Charli’s dark “angel pop” style, while still remaining honest and accessible. “Lock You Up” drives home the 13-track set perfectly asking her lover (and now fans, probably) “What do I do to lock you up inside my heart?” The only track that seems to be out of place is “Cloud Aura” which features rapper/stripper Brooke Candy and was featured on XCX’s mixtape “Super Ultra” in 2012. Candy’s rapping just doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the album, or even the song for that matter. It interrupts the flow of the album and the LP would have been just as well without it.
“I’ve always wanted to make it sound luscious, and beautiful and cinematic. I feel like I’ve done that with this record. The way that I describe it is purple pop music, it’s moody, emotional and rich,” says the singer. “Luscious” is the perfect descriptor for “True Romance”. The music is decadent and leaves the listener wanting more, which is definitely the intention because Charli says she has already begun working on her sophomore album.
Charli XCX’s “True Romance” is, without a doubt, the best debut this author has heard in the last three years. Not since Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs” have I felt so captivated by a first album. And having accomplished so much at only 20, it’s clear that we haven’t even scratched the creative surface of Charli XCX.
Charli XCX’s debut album “True Romance” is out on April 15th/16th in the UK and United states, respectively.
Written by Nick Personett
OurVinyl | Contributor
Upcoming Tour Dates:
With “Marina and the Diamonds”
6 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
7 Santa Ana, CA Observatory
10 San Diego, CA House of Blues
11 Los Angeles, CA Shrine Exposition Center
12 Las Vegas, NV LAVO Nightclub
13 Salt Lake City, UT Club Sound
14 Englewood, CO The Gothic Theatre
16 Lawrence, KS The Granada
17 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
19 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theater
20 Chicago, IL Riviera Theater
22 Detroit, MI St. Andrews Hall
23 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
24 Montreal, QC Metropolis
28 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
29 New York, NY Central Park SummerStage @ Rumsey Playfield
31 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
1 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
3 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall
4 Norfolk, VA The NorVa
6 Orlando, FL The Social
8 Miami, FL Grand Central Miami
10 Charlotte, NC Visulite Theatre
12 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
13-16 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival