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EP Review: Charli XCX – Vroom Vroom

2 min read

Vroom Vroom marks the start of a major change in Charli XCX’s career. Even without mentioning the major move of opening her own record label, Vroom Vroom Recordings, the EP marks the beginning of her collaborations with British electronic producer SOPHIE. Following on from the pop-punk of Sucker, Vroom Vroom takes things in a noticeably different direction for Charli; closer to True Romance, yet still its own beast in every way.

Charli XCX Vroom VroomSOPHIE’s touch is found on every corner of Vroom Vroom. The songs portray Charli’s new dark pop image perfectly, relying on foreboding hip-hop influenced synthpop beats and the chirping futuristic effects that define PC Music’s style. The title track moves between buzzing melodies and solid beats in its darker verses, but twists into a more bubblegum style in the chorus, still keeping it simple by SOPHIE’s standards while clearly emulating the sound of cars in its arrangement with his usual synth style. Trophy takes the hip-hop influence even further, while revolving around a Pulp Fiction vocal sample that makes up the song’s defining hook—I want that trophy. Had it not been for Paradise, the EP could may have ended up as a one-note offering—Paradise is a bubblegum pop track in classic SOPHIE style, but Secret (Shh) is basically a less distinct but still enjoyable version of the other two tracks—but the strength of the material more than made up for it in the end, resulting in an overall enjoyable collection.

At a mere 12 minutes, Vroom Vroom is infuriatingly short in length but also extremely promising in scope. Charli and SOPHIE’s styles mesh together surprisingly well in a way that feels familiar yet fresh at the same time, and puts a much welcome spin on Charli’s overall formula. With an album coming up and more work with SOPHIE all but guaranteed, Vroom Vroom is a very reassuring sign of Charli XCX’s future as an artist, and a great preview of things to come.