Following collaboration success with both Iggy Azalea and Icona Pop, not to mention a big solo hit with ‘Boom Clap’, Charli XCX has been catapulted into the mainstream. And, to be fair, it’s about time too, as she’d been gnawing at its edges, full of infectious and fresh songs, for no little while.
However, rather than sharpen up her edges for an overdue promotion to pop’s premier league, she’s made them even rougher and blurry, her songs here packing insistent beats and scuzzy, lo-fi guitars. ‘Sucker’ is her third album overall, and the first that’ll really engage with a sizeable audience, but its maker hasn’t compromised an inch.
XCX has cited punk as a major influence on ‘Sucker’, but the set also bears the hallmarks of double-dutch chants, American high-school movies and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll across its litany of nagging melodies. This collection’s predecessor, 2013’s ‘True Romance’, showcased an artist willing to take on the pop world. ‘Sucker’ finds that same, singular performer rewriting the rules entirely, never mind breaking any, and beating pop at its own game.
Words: Joe Rivers
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