From Myspace princess to futuristic pop queen, Charli XCX claims her name in her new self-titled album, “Charli”, a mix of progressive, synthetic futuristic pop. Pushing those pop boundaries, sometimes she succeeds and sometimes she doesn’t. Ranging dynamically between songs, variety within each song can be hard to find; however, she finds the right balance in a few favorites like “Gone” and “Blame It On Your Love”.
“Gone”, the second song on the album, featured Christine and the Queens, sometimes known simply as Chris. It opens with a slow clap beat and Charli’s haunting speaking vocals. As the beat quickens, the percussion adds layer by layer in a combination of claps and drum beats and high hitting notes. “Don’t search me in here, I’m already gone, baby” as spoken by Charli turns into the French call of Chris “Ne me cherche pas, je ne suis plus la, baby”. “Gone” is a fun song that blends experimental synth sounds and female vocals for an eighties dark pop princess vibe.
Unlike the classical synth sound of “Gone”, “Blame It on Your Love” immediately opens with a throbbing beat and lilting sugary vocals. As Charli hits the high notes on the word “Love” and the beat bops along, it’s easy to start dancing. Lizzo solo breaks up the monotony of the sunshine drum beat and sweet vocals adding dynamism to an already entertaining song. As it ends, Lizzo wraps up with a deep, well timed laugh.
There is much to discover beyond these two songs. “White Mercedes” and “February 2017” feature unexpected uniqueness and are worth a listen. Each one holds a different experiment and needs to be heard multiple times to find the real gems. Charli pours her creative soul into this album and expresses her identity as the twenty first century experimental pop queen with a long exciting future ahead.