If Taylor Swift is the reigning Queen of Pop, all clever lyrics and adult-friendly tunes, than Charli XCX (Hertfordshire 22-year-old Charlotte Aitchison) is her rebellious kid sister.
Second album Sucker, from its expletive-packed title track onwards (“F*&% you, sucker!” goes the chorus) is a subtlety-free zone, packed with pop songs primary in colour and base in appeal.
You may already be familiar with Boom Clap, her matchless single of last year, which on first hearing seems unremarkable but then worms its way into the brain with an impressive determination. It’s present and correct here, along with 13 other pop nuggets which veer from the sublime to the ridiculous, often within the space of the same song.
It’s nothing new, of course – Charli’s girl-behind-the-bike-sheds shtick has been done before – but there’s something undeniably fresh and thrilling about Sucker, and it’s good to hear someone producing pop resolutely aimed at the teenage market rather than trying to cover all bases. I can’t imagine hearing any of Sucker with any regularity on Radio 2 and that’s a good thing. Sometimes only by aiming all your bullets at one target can you make sure you don’t waste every one.
Like this? Try these: Iggy Azalea, Re-Classified; Shampoo, We Are Shampoo
By Andrew Greenhalgh