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Charli XCX how i'm feeling now

Clear-cut vocals probably aren't most listeners' expectations of Charlie XCX. That's not to say her voice never shines.

Released: 15 May 2020
how i'm feeling now

Charlotte Aitchison, better known by her stage name Charli XCX, has been the face of electro-pop for almost a decade.

Her aim to bring punk into the top 40 has brought her a great deal of critical acclaim. how i'm feeling now follows this blueprint. Written and recorded over the span of six weeks in lockdown, the album is a reflection of Charli's emotional development. It draws influence from her 2014 effort Sucker, while embracing a slightly more pop feel.

'7 years', the fourth track on the LP, is by far the standout. Its blaring sound, paired with daring lyrics, are attention-grabbing whether you enjoy the complex electronic instrumentals or not. The song is reminiscent of the soundtracks to nineties teen films, a common musical and visual motif in Charli's work. You would only have to watch the 'Break The Rules' video to know that XCX is continuing to work with the aesthetics and sound which gave her a global name. It's definitely a record long-time fans will appreciate.

'enemy', is another high point. It illustrates Charli's reflective songwriting abilities through a spoken interval placed halfway through the track. The brief intermission is a review of what she's learned during adulthood and serves as a literal representation of her growth as an artist.

The album may not be for those who enjoy clean vocals, as it relies heavily on autotune, to the effect of Cher's 'Believe'. Charli has never claimed to be a vocalist and the music world is well aware of this now. Clear-cut vocals probably aren't most listeners' expectations of her. That's not to say her vocals never shine over the course of the record, but her talent is heard mainly in the production.