I Am Sound Records
Reviewed by Underbelly
Rising British pop diva brings the swagger of MIA and Nicki Minaj to 80s pop music. Production is quite similar to a lot of 80s pop including Prince, Madonna, & Depeche Mode. Charli definitely has personality, but as with all pop records, there's inevitably a lot of filler.
FCCs on 2, 7, 8, 9, 12.
1. Clams Casino-esque choir ambience, vocals drenched in reverb. Then, a killer 80s new wave throwdown with phat synth bass and killer vocals. Charli's definitely got the swagger required to be a pop star; reminds me of Madonna.
*2. Lead single for the album built off of Gold Panda's "You". Stuttering chipmunk vocals over a plodding 4 on the floor beat with absolutely stellar vocals from Charli; her delivery of the chorus is spot on. Major FCCs on this one, but it's the best song on the album by far.
3. Another wonky 80s groove with synth farts and some raaad arpeggio. However it's much too busy; sounds clunky and chaotic. Kinda cool breakdown at the end though.
4. Grimy, darker new wave thats all the rage on the Hype Machine these days (those young whippersnappers). Unremarkable.
*5. Ridiculous trance-y synth line with plodding hip hop beat; quite reminiscent of top 40 production a la Love The Way You Lie, but darker. The chorus is absolutely killer though; it lifts you off of your feet by your ears and refuses to put you back down.
6. More crazy choir ambience. Beat drops but its kinda lackluster; Charli's ultra-processed vocals don't help either. Suffers the same ADHD tendencies as Track 3. Skip.
*7. Damn. This is actually pretty good! Rad hip-hop production that commands your head to bob while Charli delivers a nice rap verse and of course kills it on the chorus. FCCs up the whazoo, so watch it.
8. Super auto-tuned vocals over a crunkin' rap beat with a terrible, terrible guest verse from Brooke Candy. Chorus is pretty unlistenable as well. Ugh. Fuckloads of FCCs.
9. Ultra fast hairstyle beats goes halftime for Charli to go crunk over the damn thang. Ultra-autotuned chorus offends my ears, but the verses are pretty dope. FCCs.
10. Aaaand we're back on the 80s new wave hype with Depeche Mode as a clear inspiration. All the trappings of a good pop song, but it doesn't quite hit the mark. Unremarkable.
*11. Crunkin' hip hop beat with the horn synths blasts. Ultra dramatic vocals reminiscent of System of a Down. Chorus brings back fond memories of Lady Gaga played at middle school dances. Quite good.
12. Industrial, dark plodding beat with the new wave synths. Chorus misses the mark. Riddled with FCCs.
13. arpeggiated synths, gated drums, thumping kick drum: reminds me of a modernized Purple Rain. Vocals get quite good by the end.