Charli XCX - 'CRASH'

8/10

Over the last few years, Charli XCX has been moving through a state of flux. While originally pursuing a more conventional approach to pop music in her infancy, she began to find her sound within the fledgling hyperpop genre this last decade, regularly collaborating with the scene's notable figureheads such as SOPHIE, A.G. Cook and countless others. But since the release of her lockdown album 'how i'm feeling now' in 2020, she has returned to a more conventional direction as she delivers her fifth full-length 'CRASH', a record that takes us back to the basics of her sound.

While the hyperpop era of her work was filled with bold and experimental ideas that largely circumvented the commercial scene, 'CRASH' seems very much to toe the line with a more mainstream appeal, opting for bright and glossy ideas that would fit very comfortably amongst her contemporaries. But with a nature flair for thinking outside of the box, Charli XCX has still managed to create a conventional pop release that is brimming with exciting concepts. While its most talked about additions featured the likes of Rina Sawayama, Caroline Polachek and Christine & The Queens, it is the solo material here that really keeps the momentum moving forward.

Charli XCX has rarely had a moment where she isn't trying something new and fascinating, and 'CRASH' is no different. While it may not have that instant pique of interest her previous albums have generated, it still stands as a rich and engaging collection that continues her pop dominance to date.

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