It’s tempting to praise Charli XCX’s second album for what it’s not: dull, cynical radio bait obsessed with love, sex and body image. The sneering, middle-finger-to-the-world title track gives you the impression that the British pop star thinks pop is ready for a shakeup.
Radio play is worth bringing up because Charli XCX has found mainstream success penning and guesting on Icona Pop’s I Love It and Iggy Azalea’s Fancy, and Sucker’s aggressive and punky pop tunes about skipping school, ditching your boyfriend, moving countries and masturbating (Body Of My Own is Sucker’s She Bop) are no less worthy of chart success.
But on top of being insanely catchy, the songs convey a palpable sense of frustration and dissatisfaction, and are indebted to a whole spectrum of pop influences (the Ramones, Cyndi Lauper, Elastica) that Charli successfully incorporates. Finally, a top 40 album that attempts to capture the restless energy of recent times and spit it out in a way that doesn’t just feel good, but honest, too.
Top track: Sucker