Release Date: Mar 10, 2017
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Left-Field Pop
There's a lot to be thankful for when listening to Charli XCX's latest full-length effort Number 1 Angel - a collection that fuses brilliant top-line hooks with compelling production. It's an ambitious musical mission statement that sounds like the beginning of pop's next big chapter, teased by an artist who has always been a step ahead of her competitors. Number 1 Angel is driven heavily by production from PC Music's roster of artists.
Charli XCX was already an alternative-leaning pop star when she broke with the punky rant "I Love It" with Icona Pop and dropped Sucker, an EDM-Devo reinvention of the quirkiest, most Bow Wow Wow-ing early Eighties New Wave. But in the past year and a half, this hook monster with legitimate Top 10 hits under her belt has taken a neon night drive into the avant-garde. For her 2016 EP Vroom Vroom, her recent single "After the Afterparty" and this 10-song, 37-minute "mixtape," Charli has teamed with the constellation of artists surrounding London digital-only label PC Music.
At some point, the music world decided that Charli XCX doesn't suit or want her new direction: that 2013's True Romance was the true Charli, that 2014's was Sucker an acceptable lark, that her PC Music collaborations were acts of desecration. Charli would disagree, probably while partying. In the past year, she has defended SOPHIE and co. in almost every interview--and while half of True Romance comprised immaculately tasteful dramatics, the other half was Charli karaoke-ing over Gold Panda tracks and collaborating with Brooke Candy.
A little over a year since she rode a Lamborghini into pop’s stratosphere, Charlotte Aitchison, aka Charli XCX, beams back to earth from the post-pop heaven she blasted off to. She lands with the sugar-coated Number 1 Angel in tow, a mixtape released in anticipation of Aitchison’s next album. "When you put a different name on an album, it frees you up,” Aitchison told Zane Lowe on Radio 1.