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Review: Charlie XCX burns conventional pop on Pop 2

Killer Pop

Charlie XCX is the ultimate electro-pop chameleon.

On her latest release Pop 2, she rocks, sings, coos, screams and finds spaces in between all of her various expressions to land knockout blows.

Charlie XCX Pop 2Once exposed, it’s hard to deny that this is the work of a craftsman. For all of her stickiness, it’s still easy to see why she’s not the biggest pop star in the United States.

She’s too creative with the pop spectrum for most gatekeepers to trust her with their airwaves. Right, wrong or indifferent, this is not a lane that likes to take chances.

At times profane and always imaginative, Charlie XCX is the art-school answer to the atypical Top 40 starlet.

Her tracks are deeply rooted synthesized mini-epics that give way to scattershot beats that demand their own attention.

The easy way out is cross reference EDM and be out. The problem is there is a lot more at work here than just that.

“Lucky” is full of cinematic romance that.  It features XCX rolling without a rhythm track for most of it’s 3:35. Lush and tense, “Lucky” refuses to be simple background fodder.

The near-nasty “I Got It” reunites her with CupcaKKe and also features Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar.

The festive grinder refuses to give weight to restrictions. Distorted kicks pop in and out of the bounce and if given a chance, could be the club banger of the season.

For all of its highlight’s, 20-percent of Pop 2 is just ok.  “Femmebot” is kind of cheesy and “Porsche” is a Charlie XCX track just one where the ear candy doesn’t reach the heights of its siblings.

But damn, when there’s bruising moments like “Delicious” on the menu, it makes the less accomplished songs stand out even more.

Truth is if this was anyone else’s record “Femmebot” and “Porche” would probably be hailed for their adventurous spirit.

That says so much about Charlie XCX’s desire to not only push the envelope but to shred it and burn the evidence.

Rock with her.

Stream: Charlie XCX Pop2

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