AOTY 2021

True Romance

Charli XCX - True Romance
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2013 Ratings: #592 / 1080
User Score
Based on 753 ratings
2013 Ratings: #223
Liked by 27 people
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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.

Unfortunately Charli XCX's debut album is quite a long and boring work in which few songs really capture my attention, but for the most part they just didn't click on me. I am glad that over the years Charli has advanced and progressed in improving her music.

Favorite tracks: Stay Away, Set Me Free.

Least favorite: Take My Hand.
Nuclear Seasons: 10/10
You (Ha Ha Ha): 8/10
Take My Hand: 7.3/10
Stay Away: 7/10
Set Me Free: 6.5/10
Grins: 6.2/10
So Far Away: 6/10
Cloud Aura: 5.5/10
What I Like: 5.7/10
Black Roses: 8/10
You're the One: 6.8/10
How Can I: 6.6/10
Lock You Up: 8.3/10
True Romance é o álbum que menos gosto da Charli, a sonoridade dele não me agradou tanto, na vdd achei bem cansativa sabe?
As letras são bastante pessoais, já se nota que a Charli já tinha uma certa liberdade lírica na carreira dela, mas o álbum em si não funciona como um todo pra mim, ele meio que não se encaixa na discografia da Charli, e ao mesmo tempo encaixa, eu sei é estranho, mas é essa a ... read more
* Nuclear Seasons (7/10)
* You (Ha Ha Ha) (6/10)
* Take My Hand (7.5/10)
* Stay Away (6.5/10)
* Set Me Free (Feel My Pain) (7/10)
* Grins (5/10)
* So Far Away (6/10)
* Cloud Aura (8/10)
* What I Like (7/10)
* Black Roses (6.5/10)
* You're The One (7.5/10)
* How Can I (6/10)
* Lock You Up (6/10)

Nota Final: 67/100
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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