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Album Review: Charli XCX – Pop 2

2 min read
Photo: Warner Music Australa

Pop 2 is the second mixtape that Charli XCX has released this year, too much if you ask me. And “too much” are the two words that I would use to describe the record, there is too much of everything: distorted and modified vocals, jumps from one rhythm to another, and collaborations, thirteen in a ten tracks mixtape. Was it necessary?
For sure this mixtape represents Charli’s genres, electro pop and experimental pop, but not all experiments bring to pleasurable discoveries.

Backseat (Ft. Carly Rae Jepsen) opens the record. Since the start you understand what are some of the main problems of the mixtape: over distorted vocals and avoidable music elements. It starts with robotic sounds and it continues with random noises throughout the entire song. Perhaps the explanations is in the meaning of the song itself, which is using noises and sounds to cover pain and thoughts. I don’t know if this works for Charli, but for sure it works to cover the vocals, ending up with a messy and unclear song.

The second track, Out of My Mind, was born as a collaboration between Charli and Alma, as part of Alma’s album. Charli loved it so much that she wanted it in her mixtape instead. Again, there are too many sounds which do not harmonise together. Moreover, the lyrics, although repetitive, fail to create a catchy song.

Among the long list of collaborations, there are few songs for which Charli has not collaborated with other artists and Lucky is one of them. The vocals, purposely distorted, sound like one of those ruined tapes of the 90s which jumps few seconds of the song here and then. Again, was it necessary?

Finally, Delicious (Ft. TOMM¥ €A$H) and Unlock It (Ft. Jay Park & Kim Petras) suffer from another problem that affect the entire mixtape, sudden stops and endless switches of rhythms.

The only thing that I may appreciate of this album is the constrast between the meaning of the lyrics, mostly sad, and the more happy tone of the music. This difference makes you listen to the mixtape multiple times to really understand and (if you are lucky) appreciate Charli’s work.