If you ever refer to The Rules Of Pop Chapter 17 – Survival In Pop Music you’ll find that as a broad generalisation there are two main methods.
The first is the Oasis method. This involves finding a formula and sticking to it. It’s sometimes called Giving The Fans What They Want. It’s usual outcome is one of diminishing returns as eventually most of the fans and the artist themselves realise that the fans don’t really want that at all, because they’ve already got it and you’re just serving up another weaker version.
The second is the Blur method. This involves finding a formula, using it, throwing it in the bin and then using a new formula. It’s sometimes referred to as Keeping The Fans On Their Toes. It’s usual outcome is far more unpredictable, but get it right and if founded by good songs a long term career can be achieved.
Charli XCX very much appears to be going for the Blur method. Album two Sucker (coming to some parts of the world this month and other parts next) is going to be very different from Breaking More Waves sixth favourite record of 2013 True Romance. It will upset some old fans, but win some new ones as well. New song Breaking Up is a good example with Charli showing how she has moved from a darker synthetic sound to embrace elements of bubblegum punk. The other day we posted Do You Wanna Be In My Bland by DIY band Pris and Breaking Up, whilst given a glossier production, shares some similarities.In particular it references mid 90’s duo Shampoo.
The video for Breaking Up kicks off with an excerpt from Charli’s own cover of Allergic To Love by Snuffed By The Yazuka before launching into a riff-tastic and attitude laden pop song, Charli giving it some swagger in the bowling alley. “Everything was wrong with you, so breaking up was easy to do,” she sings, pulling no punches; once again she knows how to do a hook.
2015 looks like being another good year for Charli. Based on her recent sold out show at London’s Heaven we reckon that if she was given some decent evening slots at UK festivals this year, her energetic and fiery performance would go down a storm.
Charli XCX - Breaking Up