Music review: “Number 1 Angel” by Charli XCX

+Charli+XCX+performs+at+the+%22Artist+to+Watch+Concert%22+in+2014.
 Charli XCX performs at the

Charli XCX performs at the "Artist to Watch Concert" in 2014.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Charli XCX performs at the "Artist to Watch Concert" in 2014.

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A year after the release of her first EP under a new label, Charli XCX comes back with more of her unique pop styling.

Charli XCX is a U.K. pop singer who made a big breakthrough a few years ago with both her feature on Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” and her own single “Boom Clap.” She has released at a little more than five projects as of now, and has gained some fairly good traction with various singles she’s put out. Charli’s last record, the “Vroom Vroom EP,” was an interesting take on the pop style, mostly due to its atypical pop production brought by the producer “Sophie” from the PC Music label.

The new mixtape “Number 1 Angel” continues this unique pop style, but to a much lesser degree. Unlike “Vroom Vroom,” “Number 1 Angel” focuses much more on a pop/trap sound, instead of the somewhat eclectic electronic sound of “Vroom Vroom.” This mixtape’s instrumentals feature more booming bass, melodic synths, and rattling hi-hats, compared to the minimal, strange instrumentals of “Vroom Vroom.” Despite these instrumental differences, Charli’s vocals remain fairly the same on this record, with her reverb-soaked singing and charismatic rapping.

Putting aside the sonic nature of this album, Charli still delivers a strong pop vibe. Her catchy hooks and memorable verses wouldn’t look too out-of-place on a pop radio station, even considering the more unique production style this mixtape has.

“The beats aren’t as abrasive, her vocals are distended in ways that are disorienting but not jarring,” said Christopher Weingarten from Rolling Stone. “Charli XCX is going from dueting with Iggy Azalea on “Fancy” to being the carnival barker of a virtual reality funhouse populated by a gaggle of SoundCloud post-modernists.”

In conclusion, while Charli XCX may be delivering a less distinctive sound on this record, she still shows off her chops when it comes to making catchy, ear-worm tracks. “Number 1 Angel” by Charli XCX gets a:

7.3/10!

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