Charli XCX - Number 1 Angel
Number 1 Angel
Charli XCX has quietly been making some of the most complex and modern pop music we have to date. This new mixtape Number 1 Angel is no different, and may even be her best to date. What is really great about Charli's brand of pop is that it is not beholden to anything. She is free to mix a trap beat with some sweet sultry singing on "3AM (Pull Up)" and instead of feeling like two genres have been forced together it just flows so naturally. On this record in particular she seems to elevate the trap singer mentality of combining Rap and R&B to all new heights. Future or Fetty Wap make music we like, but no one would ever dare to call them good singers but where they falter Charli XCX succeeds. Everything about the music itself screams "turn-up" but when you actually listen to the lyrics you find that Charli is providing much more depth than just a party anthem. This record is more about what comes after the party, the guilt, the shame and the despair that we all feel deep down despite the lasers whirling around our heads. A.G. Cook provides the production on the record and it is absolutely incredible. They are able to achieve this amazing hazy vibe yet Chali's lyrics can still penetrate through, even out shine the production at times. With this record Charli XCX is proving that her abilities are far better than your basic pop princess.
"Babygirl" featuring Uffie feels like a 90s pop song, but if it just took a giant does of acid. It is swirly and weird while still being on the surface this super sweet teenage love song. However, the next track "Drugs" comes in a blows whatever sweetness was there away as Charli pines for a former love who also happened to be slanging. Interestingly there is only one track ("Lipgloss") with a rapper on the record despite it's hip hop leanings. This track also sounds more like the Weeknd and Daft Punk collaboration than it does the rest of the record adding yet another weapon in Her bag of trips. If there is one thing that Charli XCX fails at on this record is lyrical content. She doesn't often present a new take on the love song, or add a new lyrical dimension to a pop performance. But the music is so modern and so slick that you barely even notice as your hand unconsciously goes up in the air to bang along. Number 1 Angel may be a mixtape, but Charli doesn't treat it that way, this record feels like it was cared for and worked on rather than something to keep people interested until a proper album is released. This is a record you really cannot miss.
8.4 out of 10