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.