Review – Charli XCX – True Romance

12 Apr

I can’t believe I’m finally writing this review.

Let me back up.  Maybe I haven’t shared with you all my intense love for Charli XCX.  Maybe I’ve been too busy trying to spread the gospel of David Bowie, My Bloody Valentine and Wampire.

If that’s the case, I apologize, because it means that I spent less time sharing with the world the magic that is Charli XCX.

I suppose the reason that I have sort of hung back in making much mention of Charli XCX is that it’s just taken so long for her debut album to come out.  I’ve literally been waiting well over a year for this bad boy, after running into her music early into 2012 (may have even been late 2011).  I ran across “Nuclear Seasons” on, what I believe was, an NME list of bands to watch in 2012.  And watch I did.  I jumped on every single, followed on Twitter/Facebook/etc.  I had never gone this hard for an artist I’d only heard one song of in all my life.


When we were promised a release in mid-late 2012, I was ecstatic.  Then it turned out to be an EP that was really a glorified remix single.  I was heartbroken, and I think at that point my expectations for Charli XCX kind of plummeted a bit.  Not her, exactly, but I just began to believe that she was never going to release an album.

However, here we are, fresh into April and that album has arrived, and thanks to Pitchfork Advance, you can hear it now!

So, enough background, what does Charli XCX, and, more importantly, True Romance sound like?  Charli is an amalgamation of the skeeziness of Ke$ha, the music of Purity Ring, the lyrics of Lily Allen, and a bit of T’Pau.  Can an artist like that really exist?  YES!  And it’s every bit as cracked-out an adventure into music as it sounds.

The album opens with a newly introduced “Nuclear Seasons”, a track that has all the markings of a Bat For Lashes power ballad, but with just a bit more of the dark trance, sometimes known as Witch-house.  Following is the Gold Panda-sampling, “You (Ha Ha Ha)”, another single we had well before the album release.  If that knock-out duo didn’t make for an incredible enough opener, they’re followed up with “Take My Hand”, a song that is so powerful it seems the synthesizers can hardly handle it as they waver in and out.

Track for track, this album never dips below a 7, and for the most part, stays above the 8 range, and in the end, I find myself giving it a 9 over all, I just can’t help myself.  There are so many albums I hype up for myself like this and they never pan out the way this one did.  I could go on down the list telling you about how wonderful it is, “Stay Away”, track 4 (and another oldie) is so achingly gorgeous lyrically, not to mention the drums on this one, which remind me more of Purity Ring than almost anything else on the album.

There are a few tracks that aren’t all high quality: “Cloud Aura” is painful for the first couple of minutes, as it is a completely random rap song in the middle of this synthesizer wash, but it finds it’s own eventually and turns into a fairly enjoyable number. “Grins” isn’t exactly memorable, and “Black Roses” is a bit weak, despite some strong musical points.

Generally, if you haven’t caught on yet, I’m just incredibly happy.  This album is everything I wanted and then so much more.  Give it a shot and I’m sure you’ll agree.  Or at least I hope you will.

Final Score: An already spoiled earlier in the article 9/10

One Response to “Review – Charli XCX – True Romance”


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