Charli XCX // True Romance “_”

by on May 10, 2013

Posted in: Album Review, Electronic, Hip Hop, Music, Other, Pop Punk

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Artist: Charli XCX

Album: True Romance

Label: IAMSOUND

Release Date: April 16

Grade: A

Genre: blog pop*

Key tracks: “Set Me Free – Feel My Pain,” “Cloud Aura – ft. Brooke Candy,” “Lock You Up,” “You – Ha Ha Ha”

The first time I listened to Charli XCX was during one of my Nyghte Myoozik sessions with Aaron Slater and John Cheesman. “Nuclear Seasons” came on and to be honest I heard nothing special. It wasn’t until I listened to all of Charlotte Aitchison’s True Romance when I realized what this girl was about.

As a self-produced artist, Charlotte combines punk sounds with electronic pop vibes to establish an upbeat, yet smooth tone that makes a lot of people want to get down. She also does not fail to highlight the many musical talents she possesses through various vocal techniques. In her track “What I Like,” Charlotte not only displays her poppy voice in the chorus but also resembles a Kitty Pride-esque flow as she spews out her verses. Then we hear tracks like “Take My Hand” and “Set Me Free,” which play on upbeat cheezy pop that we all either outright adore or secretly dance to in our bedrooms (consider me to fall within the latter category). Other tracks like “Lock You Up” and “So Far Away” are straight up groovy with old school vibes seeping through the melodic cracks of each electronic verse.

But “Cloud Aura” is by far my favorite track for various reasons that shed light on Charlotte’s character as a rising internet pop star. Firstly, Brooke Candy  is featured with a pretty tame verse in comparison to the ones she drops in her own singles. As L.A.’s thrift shop illuminati socialite, Brooke Candy’s presence, whether on an album or in person, always makes a statement. In terms of True Romance, Charlotte identifies her ties to the L.A. social scene that dominates a lot of the internet pop scene, and also expresses her appreciation for forward thinking figures (to say the least) that maintain a strong, yet controversial, stance in the music industry today.

One of the more interesting things I watched this week was a short episode of H∆SHTAG$, which is a show on redbullmusicacademy.com. The episode features figures of the blogpop scene, and is ironically titled “Don’t Call It #BlogPop.” The show itself explores music figures within the blog pop scene, such as Charlotte, that have shaped “digital culture.” Charlotte explains in her interview that, as an internet phenomenon, she wants “the inside of [her] mind to look like [her] tumblr.” Her ambitions to develop and perfect her aesthetic as an artist through the internet is both an interesting and scary thought. While Charlotte is using the digital medium in creative, innovative ways, her personal development occurs through “non-action” as she attempts to make it big through her digital image.

I don’t fully understand the implications Charlotte’s loyalty to the internet will have on her career, but as of now she is making an incredible name for herself as she breaks out in the pop scene as a British punk dude. So as of now I don’t think it’s safe to make any predictions regarding her development as an artist. But as for the present moment, all I can say to Charlotte is this: “carry on young squire cuz youze about to be a knight.”

  • SCT

    Have you heard the versions of these tracks that appeared on previous EPs and mixtapes? A friend and I were talking recently about the mixing on the LP versions — sounds to us like they’re rather washed out, burdened under too many studio elements (esp. airy keyboard tones). They seem to have way less bite now. The thumping beat at the beginning of the refrain on “Nuclear Seasons” for example sounds more muffled. We’re both using high-quality mp3s, and since that’s Charli’s main release platform we’re thinking it’s not an audio format issue. Have you noticed this? If so, do you prefer the more compressed LP versions?

  • xcx

    im obsessed with this album, ESPECIALLY the “upbeat cheezy pop” tracks. amazing.