By Josh Schonfeld
You probably remember Charli XCX from her big hit, “Boom Clap” from the soundtrack to The Fault in Our Stars. Well, forget about all about that because her latest EP is anything but the romantic sap that made “Boom Clap” successful. Number 1 Angel is a strong dose of sticky-icky sweet pop that will get you high as a kite with its bellowing dance stomp beat and quick-hitting melodies. Charli comes out like a Chihuahua: full of energy and ready to take down any intruder. Influenced heavily by her 90s childhood, Charli isn’t afraid to show her age (24, to be exact) with her schoolyard rhymes.
If you’re just looking to have fun before going out, then Number 1 Angel is the EP for you. “3AM (Pull Up)” is a non-stop workout with its pulsing drum machine beat. The song also has a great story as she deals with the inner conflict everyone has between their brain and their “urges,” especially at 3AM after a night out. It’s a cathartic finish as she realizes this guy is no good for her and she spouts, “Go fuck yourself, don’t say you’re sorry. I can’t believe I used to want this.”
Even her slower songs pack a punch as she utilizes a strong back beat to keep your pulse rate up. She is able to showcase her incredible songwriting skills with songs such as “Blame It On You” and “White Roses,” while “ILY2” is her attempt at writing at a love song. If you thought that means a string quartet and sweeping instrumentation, think again. “ILY2” probably has the heaviest amount of 808s on the entire EP to evoke the feeling of your heart as it falls in love. It all culminates with a screeching electric guitar at the bridge as you soar up to cloud nine.
While we already have a legendary song called “Lip Gloss” by Lil Mama, Charli XCX does her best to surpass it with her own “Lipgloss” track. If you thought the rest of the EP was hi-NRG, then you should probably take a break before this one. “Lipgloss” is as Hi-NRG as it gets with a pummeling beat mixed with a spiraling synth that only take s break during cupcakKe’s rap verses, where a heavy bassline gives you a muted needed rest. While most artists are afraid of looking too bubblegum pop, Charli plays right into it with the infectious chorus repeating, “Mmhmm, I keep it sticky-icky like lipgloss.”
Say what you will about Charli’s maturity level, she is not afraid to fill that bubblegum pop void, especially with lyrics such as, “Yeah, you know I’m sugary sweet. Baby boy, gonna rot your teeth.”