True Romance

True Romance

Britain's Charli XCX can be regarded as the power behind Icona Pop's fantastic girl-power anthem "I Love It" (she cowrote it with two producers). And that song's considerable muscle and sass easily set it apart from music by scores of other female pop artists. While the 20-year-old professes a love for classic Spice Girls and Britney (and, we suspect, Madonna), she's nurtured a slightly edgier vision that puts her more in the camp of artists like Marina & The Diamonds. Synths, drums, more synths, pounding dance floor beats, and a husky voice capable of both withering heat and alluring warmth turn what could be humdrum dance pop tunes (like "Take My Hand" and "Black Roses") into something bigger that rattles more than your ankle bones. The sultry, winsome "Nuclear Seasons" rings with the memories of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" and murkier memories of Duran Duran, while the snarl of "You (Ha Ha Ha)" hints at the power of "I Love It," though it sparkles and pinwheels on a sweeter bed of synth notes. Watching Charli XCX stretch out into new pop spaces is guaranteed to be a fun ride. 

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