Music Reviews

Charli xcx’s latest is a new club classic

From Charli XCX official Facebook page

6th of October City, EGYPT – With today’s release of her sixth studio album, BRAT, Charli xcx – one of electropop’s modern icons – delivered a club-house 15-track collecting befitting a London rave.

After announcing her album on the 28th of February and releasing her lead single “Von dutch” a day later, fans have been patiently – albeit reluctantly – waiting for the arrival of ‘BRAT week,’ which begins today.

Charli xcx is an influential figure in pop, with her music reaching diverse audiences worldwide.

Known for the sounds of speeding cars in her music, this record delivers the authentic Charli xcx sound, but on an even more elevated level – it’s one of the most acclaimed albums this year on the rating site Metacritic with a score of 92/100.

BRAT also arrived on Pitchfork with an impressivescore of 8.6/10.

The first two tracks, “360” and “Club classic” pull you in with perfectly layered beats and synth, and builds up the album’s first round of energy boosts.

The third track, “Sympathy is a knife” was a very enjoyable listen. It intrigued me how vulnerable the lyrics were, yet how catchy and upbeat the tune is. With this track, I knew that Charli’s dedication to curating a “club classic” album was evident.

Who wouldn’t like to sing sad lyrics joyfully on the dance floor?

But “I might say something stupid” felt a bit slow and didn’t match the rhythm of the first few tracks. It’s also another of several vulnerable tracks on BRAT.

Despite it feeling a little bit odd, I loved Charli’s spin on sad songs with auto-tuned vocals. It matched the overall electro-pop tone that everyone associates with Charli.

But maybe that slowness was intended. The almost two-minute track transitions to one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Talk talk.”

That song has been especially popular within the fanbase, as it was accidentally released by Charli’s team May 16 on Apple Music.

Since then, fans’ excitement grew for the release of BRAT.

“Von dutch” truly suits being the lead track. The seventh track marks the midpoint of the album and serves all of Charli’s key features to a great pop song. That also includes her iconic and thrilling race-car roar, shifting the listener to a greater energy level.

The next two tracks, “Rewind” and “So I” both show the artist’s different emotional sides. “Rewind” focuses on Charli’s relationship with her body image, whereas “So I” is dedicated to Charli’s friend and musical inspiration, the artist SOPHIE, who died in 2021.

And then things take an interesting turn. “Girl, so confusing” might be the most controversial song on the album.

In it, Charli references not seeing eye to eye with a certain fellow artist in the industry. Online, Charli’s fans are speculating who is the subject of this song, suggesting it could be artists like Lorde, MARINA, and Rina Sawayama.

Though fun, the last five tracks didn’t seem really interesting except for the last song, “365.” In true 365-degree fashion, the song calls out to the first track “360,” and felt like an extension of that first track, which I absolutely enjoyed.

Charli xcx’s marketing campaign for BRAT was a major hit on social media. Pictures of trucks with digital screens advertising the album were spotted in Paris, and even the London Eye was lit up with in bright, neon green similar to BRAT’s album color.

BRAT might be Charli’s greatest record so far. This album makes it clear why Charli xcx is a highly praised artist by music fans, even the ones who do not listen to her often.

Jana Salama is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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