True Romance

Charli XCX - True Romance
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2013 Ratings: #560 / 1023
User Score
Based on 517 ratings
2013 Ratings: #219
Liked by 5 people
April 15, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Asylum / Label
Synthpop / Genres
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No Ripcord

On True Romance, Charli XCX manages that rarest of things – a straight-up pop record that’s inventive and rewards repeated listening.

The 405

It's scintillating, razor-sharp and effortless, but most in-your-facedly, it's caked with pop glitter.

The Line of Best Fit
The album is effectively a gallery of XCX’s work so far – the introductory, defining goth pop tracks, the expanding artistry beyond what Charli herself defined goth pop as, the balance she seems to be currently attempting to strike between the two; all are laid on display, denoting her roughly two year evolution in easy to trace lines.

In an era when too many up-and-comers are all too eager to please, this stubborn refusal to back down displays another quality in short supply: genuine irreverence.


Since quite a few of these songs were already road-tested, it's not surprising that this is a strong debut, but just how consistently catchy and personal True Romance is might raise a few eyebrows.

Tiny Mix Tapes

There isn’t a moment when Charli XCX doesn’t display the kind of wild, brash confidence that other artists take years to arrive at.

The Guardian
London's Charlotte Aitchison is just 20, but she's already got four years of banging away at pop's door under her belt. By not rushing out an album until now, however, she seems to have found the time to iron out the creases that made her seem like one of a dozen similar acts.
Under The Radar

Part of the pack she may be, but Charli XCX proves she's adventurous and unconventional enough to break out on her own.


She has the ability to carve out some gorgeous pop songs, but seems to be trying to cover too many bases. 

FACT Magazine

Love, lust and longing are chronicled and dissected in True Romance through online relationships being gradually given tangible, tactile form, setting Charli up as a young pop star to be reckoned with.


She’s the fun pop you don’t have to be embarrassed about listening to, and she’s definitely worth focusing your attention. True Romance is certainly the true beginning of an illustrious career.


Her collage of pop dreams, electro flash, and diary-rage lyrics could very well create a new generation of pop stars, one in which being a weirdo is a necessity.

Pretty Much Amazing

Charlotte Aitchinson has an outstanding talent for melody and a durable vocal delivery. For now her ability seems to end there.


There’s much to enjoy on True Romance, although it’s probably best sampled in small doses as it doesn’t hang together that successfully over the course of an album.

Consequence of Sound

True Romance is a valiant attempt that doesn’t do much more than provide the soundtrack for “getting ready to go out” songs on tinny laptop speakers.


At the moment, her music is best consumed in blog-sized chunks, not as a stodgy 48-minute album. 

Tumblr represented in form of an wonderful and beautiful album.
UPDATE (OG SCORE: 6.4): Okay this album grew on me by quite a bit. The sugary aesthetics aren't nearly as unappealing as I initially thought, though this album frontloaded as all hell.

"True Romance" showcases huge potential for Charli to grow and change something in the pop scene, she's just not there yet. The production is really good and there are some catchy, well-written bangers, but there's also times where the aesthetics are so sugary and garish that it becomes practically ... read more
A blueprint for how pop music could [still] be constructed.
Even through the clusterfuck production, Charli’s debut shows off impeccable songwriting and an ear for gigantic, sticky hooks. It’s not that the songs are particularly deep, but the melodic lines are sharp and memorable. This is someone raised on the sentimentality of 2000s pop who knows how to update those emotions through contemporary production. The sound is dated, not Charli.
charli xcx gives an interesting and sugary first record. she shows a decent strength in songwriting, and a very good taste in production. its a fun and upbeat album, but the formula gets old after 5 tracks or so (at least thats when i initially lost interest) and if you are looking for some variation, dont listen to this. the only gem of this record is the track what i like. it's a euphoric, dance-able earworm that plays out to be one of the best pop tracks from 2013.
fav tracks: what i ... read more
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Track List

  1. Nuclear Seasons
  2. You (Ha Ha Ha)
  3. Take My Hand
  4. Stay Away
  5. Set Me Free
  6. Grins
  7. So Far Away
  8. Cloud Aura
  9. What I Like
  10. Black Roses
  11. You're the One
  12. How Can I
  13. Lock You Up
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Added on: February 26, 2013