Though Charli XCX has become more of a household name of late, the Bishop Stortford born girl has in fact been writing her own songs since she was 14.
22 year old Charlotte Aitchison, named Charli XCX after her MSN Messenger screen name, has been performing around London since she was 15, releasing her EP You’re The One shortly afterwards. Her debut major label studio album, entitled True Romance, was released in 2013 but fell out of the top 100 in the UK after only two weeks, failing to get her noticed.
Charli is best known for co-writing the catchy pop song I Love It on which she features with Icona Pop, the song propelling the Swedish duo to fame and most definitely saving her from fading into the background of the music industry.
From there her next featured song was Fancy alongside Iggy Azalea, the single’s music video homage to 90s film Clueless. The song went to number one in the US, making it the first single for either act to make the top spot.
XCX has so far released three singles from her latest album Sucker. Boom Clap has since become a commercial success, giving Charli her first ever top ten hit single as a solo artist. The catchy song was even featured on the soundtrack of acclaimed film The Fault In Our Stars.
Charli, who has named some of her influences as Madonna, Eminem and David Bowie, has since teamed up with pop star and The Voice judge Rita Ora to release track Doing It. The song was another top ten hit, and for those who didn’t enjoy it on first listen it is definitely a grower.
The next single from her album, Famous, was released in March and is relatively similar to her other singles so far in terms of its catchy pop sound. XCX’s style of song definitely seems to appeal more to teenagers and students with a vibe and beat that is likely to be heard most often in clubs and bars where you can happily dance along.
Eponymous track Sucker is catchy but seems a little overdone. Aitchison has sound-to-colour synaesthesia, seeing music as colours, and on this track you can almost picture the colourful psychedelic swirls she is seeing as you listen. At times some of her songs do seem a little reminiscent of Marina and the Diamonds, who she supported on tour in 2013.
Break The Rules provides a much better sound and is one of the best tracks on the album. Some of her music has been described as punk influenced but it is difficult to distinguish her songs from anything other than pop, only with some occasional swearing.
London Queen is a bit of a disappointment, but the consecutive songs Breaking Up, Gold Coins and Body of My Own bring the album back up to where it should be. The latter in particularly is a much stronger song than some of the other album tracks.
Hanging Around, So Over You and Die Tonight are the album’s slower songs, and they do actually work against the more club-like sounds, providing another dimension to Charli XCX’s voice.
The final three tracks of the album, Caught In The Middle, Need Ur Love and bonus track Red Balloon are definitely her weakest three, but with a few listens they could in fact grow on you, Red Balloon seeming to have a similar tune to the theme of children’s show The Wild Thornberry’s.
— CHARLI XCX (@charli_xcx) February 19, 2015
Though a lot of Charli XCX’s singles are good on their own, a whole album of songs does seem a little too much to listen to. XCX is a great singer and songwriter with a very distinctive sound but sadly not all of her new tracks are quite up to scratch. Sucker is a bit hit and miss, though the majority of her tracks are great and she has certainly stamped a place for herself in the music industry.
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