The princess of pop, punk and party is back – Charli XCX provides her latest effort in the form of a balls-out, full-thrills mixtape. Bridging the gap between 2014’s ‘SUCKER’ and her as-yet-untitled third studio album due out later this year; XCX deploys A. G. Cook‘s distinct PC Music production for a tracklist of outright club bangers. While maintaining that the mixtape is in the same style we can expect from her upcoming album, XCX comments that ‘Number 1 Angel’ is “a lot more sad”, and more like “crying into the champagne than drinking it.”
[contentblock id=141 img=adsense.png]
‘Number 1 Angel’ opens up with an intro just as tranquil as the lead’s title ‘Dreamer’ would suggest – where Charli‘s aided by collaborators Starrah and RAYE. Perhaps tying with track ‘Drugs’ (featuring Abra) for the darkest, most thumping songs on the mixtape – there’s a definite throwback to XCX‘s ‘Super Ultra’ mixtape days; from not only the production, but the irreverent attitude-filled vocals. Instantly followed by ‘3AM (Pull Up)’, the track marks another collaboration between XCX and Denmark’s pride of pop, MØ. Debuting as one of Mistajam‘s hottest records this week (alongside Dreamer and Lipgloss’), ‘3AM’ is definitely another trademark catchy earworm which comes naturally to Charli – but far from the best the mixtape has to offer.
The final feature calls in viral sensation CupcakKe, who provides her best rap during the drops of ‘Lipgloss’. The two back and forth over the top of the most ‘typically 8-bit PC Music’ instrumental on the mixtape, bar the absolutely thrashing ‘Roll With Me’. A track that squeezes an almost epileptic selection of synths into it’s beat in a way better than you could ever imagine.
Disguising sadness as a party, ‘Number 1 Angel’ provides you with just as many bangers as it does comedown anthems – and sometimes the tracks pack both. ‘Babygirl’ opens with enough summery funk vibes to challenge the best of either Bruno Mars‘ or Carly Rae Jepsen‘s latest outputs. However, come the bridge – where the instrumental strips back, the tempo drops – but the same chorus of “I’ll be your baby girl, your baby girl” sounds repeated in a different, and slightly more pensive manner than the rest of the track. Regardless, ‘Babygirl’ is probably the most glossy, chilled and easygoing pop track Charli has ever released – sounding just as radio ready as Katy Perry‘s ‘Teenage Dream’.
[contentblock id=160 img=iframe.png]
Despite the sprinkling of perhaps unexpected collaborations, each song is entirely solely written by XCX. And with XCX‘s contributions of undeniably catchy melodies, belting hooks and recognizable vocal arrangements – she’s managed to turn the PC Music genre on it’s head from an intense and divisive nature and bring it confidently into the mainstream. ‘Number 1 Angel’ cleverly manages to work it’s way around it’s own missteps; packing more than enough of a punch, proving that Charli XCX – whether bratty or lovable – is here to stay and forever evolving.
‘Number 1 Angel’ is out on the 10th March 2017 via Vroom Vroom Recordings.
Track-listing is …
1. “Dreamer” feat. Starrah and RAYE
2. “3AM (Pull Up)” feat. MØ
3. “Blame It On U”
4. “Roll With Me”
7. “White Roses”
8. “Babygirl” feat. Uffie
9. “Drugs” feat. Abra
10. “Lipgloss” feat. CupcakKe