Of course Charli brings great pop songwriting that is catchy and sticky in your, with so many great hooks for days. There’s also a layer of introspection and dealing with personal issues, taking the general moodiness and sadness of “Pop 2” but deals with it through a mental health angle. Some of the best explorations of this are done through tracks like the unfiltered unhappiness and not wanting to deal with others on “Thoughts”, “White Mercedes” which sees Charli admit her insecurities and self-sabotage like nature to her partner with the promise to be better, or “Silver Cross” where Charli promises to be there for someone else in her life who is struggling as a means of support.
All of this is combined with futuristic production that takes the songs to new heights, like the glitchy, stadium size bombast of “Gone”, the constantly changing and distorted as hell twerk anthem posse cut “Shake It”, or “2099”, which literally sounds like it was transported from 2099 when Charli is finally recognized as the reigning queen of pop. There’s also great features from the entire pop landscape, like Claire and Yaeji on the remorseful but catchy as hell “February 2017”, Lizzo on “Blame It On Your Love”, which see her and Charli revisit “Track 10” and turn it into a upbeat dance celebration of love instead of an emotional cry of regret, or Kim Petras and Tommy Cash on “Click”, one of the most fun and explosive flex songs on the album and in pop music in general.
In short, “Charli” is the culmination of everything Charli XCX has done this past decade, and she sticks the landing. Really the only reason it’s not an 100 in my book is because I think “Pop 2” is a tighter listen and “Charli” has some fat that, while still great, could have been cut for the sake of album flow. Still, it’s a great listen if you’re into adventurous and unique listens left of what’s typically available, but it’s also just as great if you want a fun and hooky pop album full of hops. It’s contagious and consistent throughout, and I think at this point denoting Charli’s impact is simply ignoring the viral effect she’s having on modern music. At the end of “2099” Charli XCX tells off her label, enemies in the industry, critics, and those her doubt her vision by saying “you don’t know nothing” and that she’s the future. After listening to “Charli”, I’m inclined to believe her.