Cover art makes me wanna sex.
But asides, I think everyone here is at this point aware that this is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Charli, still fresh off the massive success that is Charli, decides to make a "quarantine LP" with the few producers that got locked in with her at her place.
If you haven't heard Charli, it's an incredible pop album, that succeeded to cross the bridge between mainstream pop recipes and experimental detours, most notably from the PC Music playbook. And by success, I really mean a triumphant success, as Charli is a consistent, sweet, fun and banging project that doesn't try too hard while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of pop.
how im feeling now is chronologically located less than a year after that album, so it's hard to expect anything much different stylistically. The tracklist is trimmer and with no features to be in sight, which is expected given this is a quarantine album. I've distanced myself from all the teaser tracks, except Claws, that wasn't anything surprising to me, except the fact that it's much better than I excepted. The whole track is an incredible earworm with Charli's delicious autotune passages and the hard hitting beat.
Still, I didn't expect much because this is made in like less than 2 months. I sorta expected it to be a quicker, more brief take on the vibe Charli provides. But after listening to the entire thing, ima say I was quite shocked. In the best way possible.
how im feeling now might benefit a lot from its brevity, but I can't deny that the batch of songs here is arguably the best she delivered yet.
And even if you might prefer Charli or Pop 2 over this, one thing that's factual is that the tracks here are definitely and absolutely her most twisted, her most experimental, her most conceptual, her most synthetic.
And this is clear right from the first track pink diamond, which kicks the album in a similar way to how Charli begins, as Charli basically raps her way through this track in a farily simplistic structure to the song. The difference is that instead of the fruity, bubblegum instrumental on Next Level Charli, we have an absolute gear grind here: the instrumental is twisted and weird and goes much harder, which complements the cold blooded rapping in a great way.
Also, this track flows its ass perfectly into the next track forever, which was a single leading this album. The track is one of her best ballads to date, with an incredible emotional climax in the hook, and Charli buttering her vocals with some of her most distorted and twisted autotune effects. Actually, every track on this album uses much more autotune than usual, which isn't a bad thing. In fact, this also is a major reason to this album being her most altering, because Charli knows how to use autotune harmoniously, and she has proven that over the years at this point. But mainly, this large use of effects enhamces the vibe and value of the album greatly.
I'm not gonna go as deep into every track on the album, because every track slaps here, all killer no filler, but imma still talk about my favourite cuts. detonate has an instrumental you might find on a more emo-influenced track from 100 gecs, which implies you might predict the way Charli would treat that song, and she does it perfectly, and also this track as well as many others contains a pretty distinct, solid structure which makes it seem longer than it actually is, in the best way possible. i finally understand has one of the more "friendly" production, but is backed by some of the more unique vocal inflections and melodies from Charli, which there are already many of this deep into the album.
The album doesn't mess its prolific run at its final leg, and sticks the landing. c2.0 is a rehash of one my favourite tracks from the last album, Click, as the Charli bridge from there serves as a hook here, and it's clear to see why. Her verse also does justice to this track well, as Click is a key Charli track stylistically and quality-wise, happily she didn't ruin it at all.
anthems is arguably the hardest track on the entire track, and Charli's vocal variations all throughout the song really do make it an anthem for the ages, and a last raging moment that transmits greatly into the cooldown that is visions that ends the tracklisting. This outro provides one of the most relaxing and orgasmic pieces of production, as the synth layers melt within the vocal effects deliciously before fading into the album closing itself and concluding the great experience that is how im feeling now.
There's a few tracks like 7 years and party 4 u that doesn't match up with the others because they aren't as memorable or because they represent a slightly paler idea already displayed prior. But in no means are they considered fat or do they hurt this album at all. This is Charli's magnum opus and it's very apparent as to why: it delves into the sense of experimentation the most, while still sticking to the roots of pop making it still very easy to listen to, and also because it's her most consistent body of work, and brevity isn't the only factor to that. The fact that this was made in 2 months is phenomenal to say the least.
Seeing Charli reinvent herself from one of the most generic pop singers to a powerhouse in the future pop lane is one of the biggest and most fruitful transformations in recent music and I couldn't be more satisfied.