Tracks We Play Too Much

Charli XCX Challenges The Boundaries of The Pop Genre with ‘Number 1 Angel’

by Katherine Butler

British pop singer-songwriter Charli XCX released a new mixtape called Number 1 Angel.  Fans are ecstatic, since it’s been a while since the 24-year-old singer has released new music, but the mixtape has the potential to win over even casual listeners with standout hits “Dreamer” and “3AM (Pull UP) (feat. MØ).”

While Number 1 Angel contains Charli XCX’s usual electro-pop characteristics, the sexually explicit lyrics that appear on some tracks make it clear she isn’t concerned with pleasing mainstream audiences.  On the track “Drugs (feat. ABRA),” she touches on the sensitive subject of drug addiction—and not in a way that glorifies or promotes the lifestyle.  It’s refreshing and exciting to hear a pop artist pushing and challenging the boundaries of the pop genre.

Charli XCX has built herself quite an impressive persona as a pop-queen, from her music to her style and personality. In Number 1 Angel, she flaunts her ability to slow it down but still keep listeners engaged, as demonstrated in “Dreamer,” “Blame It On You,” and “White Roses.”  Additionally, this mixtape includes lyrics that explore more depth than just sexuality.  In “Emotional,” she mournfully sings about a “what-if” love with lyrics such as, “We came so close, but still we push away,” and, “You got me so emotional/ We had something that never happened.”

This mixtape shows the versatility and potential Charli XCX contains.  Certainly, we can expect her upcoming third album to delight listeners even more.  “It’s a champagne shower of badass pop,” she told Rolling Stone in an interview this past January.

Check out the full mixtape below and upcoming tour dates:

April 2 – San Franscisco, CA @ Rikshaw

April 12 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge

April 20 – London, UK @ Jazz Café

April 22 – Paris, France @ Lew Étoiles

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