Charli XCX - 'Charli'

8/10

Charting the evolution of Charli XCX can be a turbulent thing to get your head around. After making her name as a dark and unconventional artist as part of London's alternative dance music scene, she quickly became the darling child of the US pop market with a wave of commercially successful singles and featured appearances. Now she prefers to occupy somewhere in the middle of those two contrasting directions, and it seems that she has convinced most of the scene to join her as she unveils her collaboration-heavy third LP 'Charli', a glimpse into the world of future-pop that she now reigns.

Unlike her previous album 'Sucker', this new collection isn't aiming to be taken as a countercultural remark towards the state of pop music today, but intends to be treated as the sound of pop to come. Featuring an impressive list of contemporary artists including Lizzo, Christine & The Queens, Haim, Sky Ferreira and many more, 'Charli' is a record that very much sees itself as part of the musical zeitgeist of today. But while maintaining a strong and radio-friendly sound throughout, there always seems to be this edge of experimentation threaded throughout, giving it a diverse and refreshing aesthetic that helps separate it from the usual riff-raff.

Promotion for this record began almost two years ago, and it has certainly been worth the wait. After seemingly playing both sides of the same coin for years, Charli XCX has found a near perfect balance between the alternative and commercial arenas, making this her most accessible full-length to date.

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