CRASH, Charli XCX’s 5th studio album comes at a transitional time for the artist’s career. The record caps off Charli’s nearly 10 year-long record deal with Atlantic Records. Charli, who says she is still unsure about her next steps, ends her deal with a project encapsulating her whole journey. CRASH is literally and figuratively the eruption of everything Charli is as an artist. The result of which is her full-throttling all of her artistic knowledge from her past works towards the finish line into one cohesive work that is CRASH. This, culminates in the creation of her most cohesive project yet that leaves you high on its adrenaline while also dazed and confused thinking, “Wow, did she really just do that?” Truly, it is a crash.
Charli XCX Crashes Her Car Into A Bridge
The title/opening track does everything it needs to. It is confidently reckless. Whereas the album’s lead single, “Good Ones“, was a self-deprecatory take on doing whatever she wants, “Crash” is the opposite. Charli feels good in knowing that she is going to create, deconstruct, and reuse music however she pleases with this album. The title track is the beacon for that idea. The collision of electric guitar, bangin’ drums, and fluttering keys come together to create a new jack swing song that features some of Charli’s best vocal delivery.
Additionally revealed by tracks like “Move Me” and “Used To Know Me” Charli delivers some of her best vocal performances on this album. In “Move Me” Charli definitively delivers the chorus. The production strips back completely as Charli shouts with a nasal tone. It is vulnerable for someone so synonymous with autotune. But also it expands the world of sounds on this album into that of the forward brattiness from SUCKER and R&B cadence of Number 1 Angel.
Her Insanely Inventive Mind
Undeniable is the 80’s composition surging throughout CRASH. The album highlight, “Lightning” is produced by
She Flaunts Her Badges On This Project
During her expansive career, Charli XCX as a songwriter has littered the radiowaves with her penmanship. Whether it is the melodic “Señorita” with Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello or the bounciness of “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea, Charli assembles songs with genius. Consequently, her songwriting abilities shine on CRASH. Notably, tracks like “Constant Repeat” and “Yuck” best showcase how she can match a melody with lyrics to perfectly convey feeling. On “Constant Repeat” the creamy melody melts over the glittering production by Lotus IV. Combining that with, unbothered, bitchy lyrics, we get a hypnotic lo-fi hip-hop song made for baddies. Then, with “Yuck” it’s a catchy, moody, tune. It is the impassive sister to the flirt that is “Baby“. Charli’s jaded tone and oversharing lyrics are met with a funky bassline and gang vocals. Spilling all her emotions like How I’m Feeling Now with sonics that mainstream the sounds familiar with True Romance.
Charli pushes every button she knows how to with CRASH. Nonetheless, she still finds more avenues to explore with the project. She circles back around to producers and sounds that have, over time, made her into the wealth of pop music knowledge she is. Charli is driving her artistic vehicle with ease. And because of her time at Atlantic ending, she is going to go out in flames if she wants. The demonic marketing, self-destructive imagery, pop-sell-out inspiration, and even fighting with her fans climax to create her most iconic era yet.
The deluxe version of CRASH is expected to release soon. Check out our OnStage section for details on Charli XCX’s tour.