Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Aug 20th, 2018

Charli XCX: Pop 2

Charli XCX
Pop 2
(Asylum Records)

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Charlotte Aitchison, better known as Charli XCX, was signed to Asylum Records in 2010. The English Singer/Songwriter has released four mixtapes and two studio albums since then including Pop 2. Her genres of specialty include electro, avant, and experimental pop.

In 2012 Charli XCX co-wrote and contributed vocals to an Icona Pop project, which led to great success for both Charli and the Swedish pop duo alike. The song reached number 7 on the US Top 100 Billboard Chart and number 1 on UK charts.

I can guess that this along with continuously releasing her own music led to her ultimate success and visibility. At first listen, Pop 2 showcases all of Charli’s multi-pop infused influences at once. I hear the mainstream melodic appeal, with slices of electro pop and experimental moments. I definitely heard one of those moments while playing “Tears” featuring Caroline Polachek, which conveys such a serious concept in the most playful way only pop music can. The distorted vocals are intentional and somehow make sense to me musically.

“Femmebot” featuring Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco is a favorite of mine. It pulls you in once the song starts. It makes you want to dance, which is the essence of good pop music to me. What I appreciate most about Charli XCX is that she doesn’t ever compromise conceptually or lyrically, even on dance tracks.

“Porsche” featuring Mo, showcases her flexibility as an artist, although format wise it’s a pop song, it has little pieces of an EDM vibe and I could even imagine a trap version if she pushed the envelope a bit. It also shows off her vocal abilities. Charli’s vocals have a depth that sometimes can be overlooked in pop music , due to its playful dance-friendly reputation. Make sure you listen to the album all the way through to track 10. which is untitled and again showcases her experimental way of thinking.  I guess it’s on us to title it what we choose. This album is everything a well written, well produced, conceptually sync album should be. I can listen to it straight through, which isn’t something I can say about many projects released over the last decade or so.

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Charli XCX: Pop 2