Saturday, 14 December 2013
Albums of the Year 2013 #6 - Charli XCX - True Romance
As what seems like every music blogger / website / critic / magazine / website / fan publishes their end of year list one thing is becoming clear, just as it does every year; pop music is being short-changed. For some reason when it comes to albums pop music is often not considered good enough by those who are ‘serious’ about their music.
Which is a shame; because as we've said in a number of these posts (and we feel the need to bang on about it again to make sure our message gets across) 2013 has been a very good year for quality pop. Being a serious muso all the time is really dull. In our top 15 albums we’ve already placed the likes of London Grammar, Lorde and Little Boots (it’s also been a good year for the letter L) and coming in at a strong sixth in our list is one Charlotte Emma Aitchinson aka Charli XCX with her debut album True Romance. No doubt the serious brigade will laugh in our face at this choice, but whilst they’re off scowling at the floor we’ll been having fun.
True Romance is an album that roughs things up with a mix of 80’s electro-pop, post Brit-pop girl band references and glossy but edgy production that embraces dance, house, electronica and even a little bit of hip-hop. It’s an album with a very modern synthetic sound but is painted with a darker wash of new wave and interesting, sometimes messy ideas. It’s a pop album from the city, not the countryside. The lyrics are (depending on the song) trashy, shallow, romantic, sad, sweary and try-hard-cool, in other words exactly what you’d expect from someone who was just a teenager when these songs were written. Probably when Charli is 35 she’ll look back at some of her songs here and be slightly embarrassed by them, but we suspect there will be part of her that is also nostalgically proud; because True Romance is a cracker. Sure go and listen to ‘serious’ music (you’ll find a few of those in our top 5) but have some fun with this hyper-modern class-A album as well.
Charli XCX - What I Like
Charli XCX - You're The One