British singer-songwriter Charli XCX has had quite the interesting career ever since the release of her debut studio album True Romance back in 2013. She definitely found her audience, but there were many people that found her music to be relatively generic. That’s not to say it was bad, just a bit formulaic.
The same criticisms were met with her follow-up album the next year, Sucker. Although “Boom Clap” is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable pop ballads of the 2010s, we still didn’t get a sense of who Charli was. Her sound wasn’t fully developed yet. This is why so many people were floored when she released her album Charli in 2019, as it was met with widespread acclaim, with many referring to it as one of the best albums of that year. It’s infectious sound accompanied with the feisty vocals from XCX stood out amongst the otherwise crowded pop crowd.
Since then, we have been waiting to see where she would go and what her next album would sound like. And so, here we are with her newest record How I’m Feeling Now, which is yet another masterful album with absolutely incredible production value, a terrific flow, and smart lyrical content.
“Pink Diamond” starts the record off with a bang with an atmospheric futuristic tone, as a proud and confident Charli sings “I just wanna go real hard, I just wanna go real hard, pink diamond”. It’s a track that truly never stops and only gets better from there. The same could really be said about the whole record.
The transitions between tracks such as “Detonate” and “Enemy” work extremely well, with the electropop instrumentals sweeping you off your feet. From there, we move into “I Finally Understand”, a much tamer track than the rest albeit still immensely fun and upbeat. If there is one song to nitpick here, it would easily have to be “C2.0”. Although it is most certainly not a bad song by any means, the beginning goes on for far too long as we hear a robotic voice say the word “click” over and over again for approximately thirty seconds.
Gratefully though, the song as a whole proves immensely from that point onward, with the following few tracks closing out the record in a satisfying and delightfully fun way. With How I’m Feeling Now a nd last year’s Charli, it sure seems like the pop phenomenon is heading in a much bolder and unique direction, which is such a terrific thing to see.