Charli XCX - how i'm feeling now
May 15, 2020
86
Charli's least material album glows with layers of vulnerability and electronic noise. The collection takes a turn from her previous release, embracing a productive roughness that allows her chaotic pop to transform into something raw and immediate. While lacking the polish of Charli, the fact that this album captures the claustrophobic anxieties of quarantine through such fun and endearing music is an accomplishment in its own right. how i'm feeling now is...well, how i'm feeling now: messy, slightly crazed, and tired of Zoom meetings.

What makes Charli such a fantastic artist is how she allows her music to be repetitive and self-referential that creates connections through her entire discography. Charli has a few lyric motifs that she loves to pull out in her songs. Lipgloss, rollercoaster, bedsheets, these items reappear throughout her career. It makes a throughline between a song like 'Unlock It' and 'claws.' While different sentiments, you can start to see how these feelings have changed over time. This is a rare treat for a listener; I love hearing her think about her own music and career. It's a feature that I have always loved in her music but feels even more amplified on how i'm feeling now. With such a short time frame, these songs take elements of previous Charli songs and reconsider them during the contemporary moment.

My favorite track has to be 'c2.0,' which reimagines the standout track from her last album, 'click,' into a beautiful reflection on hanging out with your besties before lockdown. The song remains a banger, but the emotional energy is laced with melancholy. The fact that the melody is so familiar creates a wonderful commentary on the transformative dynamics of COVID-19. Quarantine has brought out Charli's most vulnerable confessions, dropping her extroverted mentality for a more reflective headspace. These are still songs for the party, but they also serve for late-night dance sessions alone. It's some of her strongest and most intimate music to date.

Charli continues to be one of the most giving artists working. Her output of music is such a treat to watch and experience. how i'm feeling now feels like the ultimate test of her skills: how can one of pop's most bombastic artists release something entirely new that speaks to a time when no one can leave the house. In less competent hands, this album could've been tortured or completely underdeveloped. Instead, Charli manages to create something honest, sharp, and so much fun. We all may be isolated, but there is comfort in sharing the same anxieties and fears. It makes quarantine a little more bearable.
4 Comments
May 15, 2020
This is such a great way to interpret this album (well, from what I've listened to so far lol) thank you for sharing!
May 15, 2020
@anoldsoulsong thanks! I hope you enjoy the rest of the album :)
May 16, 2020
This was such a sweet review, made me reconsider what I thought of this album. c2.0 is prob one of my favs as well, really goes to show the amount of growth Charli has achieved as an artist. A very fitting song for an unfitting, uncertain time. Hope quarantine hasn't been treating you too badly, I'm happy to hear Charli's helping you get through it. :)
May 16, 2020
@Inglume thanks for your comment; it made my day :) taking every day of this quarantine one at a time, hoping you are well during this as well!! Thank goodness for music during all this!
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