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Charli XCX - Crash (Album Review)

Thursday, 24 March 2022 Written by Will Marshall

Charli XCX had already turned the game on its head with her bold, hyperpop-influenced ‘Pop 2’ and ‘Charli’, but ‘Crash’ is a bold leap forwards, embracing both new and old on a riveting, innovative work that upends the pop sphere all over again. 

Over the past decade, the producer-songwriter has had more than enough opportunities to go the safe route, and with a five-album deal with Atlantic she had all the tools to dominate the modern pop landscape. Instead, she’s remained the futuristic pop disruptor, always slightly off the beat from her peers. 

The opening title track is short and disarmingly self-deprecating. “I’m high voltage, self-destructive, end it all so legendary,” she sings over a floor-filling beat with booming snare. 

While the singles New Shapes (where Caroline Polacheck shines on the ghostly bridge) and Beg For You are interesting radio and club-ready anthems, it’s when Charli XCX goes further off-piste that she’s at her best. 

Move Me is full of laid-back grooves as it seems to lament lost love, whereas the following Baby is a stomper with its brief opening strings  and chorus designed to be shouted back. Lightning calls up eras of pop past with its disco synths and beat, but it’s still got a modern twist.

The album art depicts Charli bloodied on a windshield, as though she’s leapt up there ready to scrap, and that intensity permeates the record itself. It’s unafraid to both look backwards, with ‘80s pop creeping in, and forwards. Her own futuristic take on pop splices timelines with her own off-kilter and thorough understanding of what makes great modern pop. ‘Crash’ is as bold a statement as they come.

Charli XCX Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri May 13 2022 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Sun May 15 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Tue May 17 2022 - MANCHESTER O2 Victoria Warehouse Manchester
Wed May 18 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Thu May 19 2022 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sat May 21 2022 - NORWICH UEA
Sun May 22 2022 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Mon May 23 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City

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