Charli XCX Redefines Pop Music With Pop 2
Charli XCX has slowly been creeping up on the pop radars in 2017. It’s no secret that she’s has a few chart topping singles and features in the past. Everyone remembers the ever iconic “I Love It” from Icona Pop that featured the singer over the entire track and the Fault In Our Stars track that roared over airwaves “Boom Clap”. Charli pretty much broke the internet this summer when she released her music video for “Boys” that featured pretty much any attractive male that attended Coachella or is friends with her. Charli redefined pop with the track with its electronic dominance and catchy and singalong-able lyrics.
And just as year end lists were rolling out from the biggest music publications, Charli dropped her latest mixtape Pop 2 that she had been teasing on Twitter for a few days. The singer has hinted at wanting to drop a new mixtape and a few potential collaborations for it but nothing seemed set in stone from the tweets.
When she dropped Pop 2 fans were shaken by the singers ability to flip pop upside down yet again. In Pop 2, Charli pushes the boundaries on everything that has defined pop music in the last few years. Charli packs the album full of powerful and meaningful collabs that enhance the power she has in the pop world.
Opening Pop 2 features a soft but heavy collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen. “Backseat” features roaring synth bass lines juxtaposed with Carlie and Jepsen’s vocals that are layered with effects at different points in the track. As both singers are pop’s queens at the moment, their voices melt together to a soothing trance that you can sit back and hear new, evolving layers.
Melting into “Out Of My Head” from wave like sounds that end “Backseat,” you’re immediately taken into an entirely different feeling from the last. With more of a party vibe, the clapping drum beats that are echoed by pumping bass lines and reverb synth lines and possibly a rubber chicken- I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Featuring femme powerhouse Tove Lo and Finnish singer ALMA, elements from each singers sounds are composed together to create a pop epic.
“Lucky” features just Charli in a hunting, church choir environment where many of the interesting elements come from the singer’s vocals layers one on top of the other and littered with effects that enhance everything she’s offering. With powerful lyrics “baby you’re so la-la-la-lucky, I know you never la-la-la-loved me” followed by enchanting oooo’s reaching octaves I could never dream of.
Charli yet again takes on the typical feminine tropes in “Femmebot” and is possibly one of my favorite tracks by her. With powerful major chords played throughout the entire track, light thudding melodies, and her sultry vocals, you can’t help but sing along at the powerful chorus that makes you want to get up and start another Women's March ASAP and fight the male patriarchy, or maybe that’s just me.
Pop 2 comes to the end with the creatively named “Track 10”. The over 5-minute long track powers through everything Charli can make with the electronic soundscape in front of her. With each passing listen you pick up on yet another layer and never want to stop exploring every second of the track that shows where Charli is leaving herself musically for 2017.
Like we’ve talked about, it’s been a major year for the 25-year-old British pop star. A monumentally successful US tour with Halsey, a critically noticed hit, and two albums show just how much the girl boss has put into 2017 that have only benefited her success in the long run. If 2017 was a breakthrough year for her, Charli is sure to kick 2018 into an entirely new beast that only she can conquer.