Charli XCX- how i’m feeling now

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Vital Status: Alive & Well❤️

Analogy: You’re at a dance club and every song played continues to hit your emotional notes

Genre: Pop

Length: 37min

After releasing Charli in September of 2019 and it being well received you’d think during quarantine Charli XCX would take it easy. NOT THE CASE. Charli decided to construct a new album while bringing the fans along for the journey in all of just 6 weeks during the lockdown. Not only do listeners get amazing/fun new sounds from how i’m feeling now but we get so much sentiment in this album and it catches you off guard by how close to home it can feel.

How i’m feeling now offers up incredibly fun, synthesizer and electro sounds all throughout the record starting off with “Pink Diamond”. This track has a deep instrumental and offers up all these electronic sounds that make you feel like you just found yourself at 2am underground warehouse party. Charli comparing how she appears online to her crazy real life is a good introduction to letting us into her personal life on this album which we jump right into on the next few tracks.

While listening to the song “Forever’ we catch the end of a relationship and the feelings that come with that. The verses on this song are decently noisy in comparison with the chorus where things are more clear. One could attribute this moment as the moment of clarity in your feelings toward someone and knowing there won’t be a future with that person. Charli compares this moment to driving the car off the road completely stopping any chance at moving forward. Charli’s lyrics on the hook would also go along with this idea.

I know in the future

We won’t see each other

Cold just like December

But I will always love you

I’ll love you forever

Yeah, I’ll love you forever

After getting a song about the end of a relationship, Charli, now gives us a song about the beginning of one. “Claws” is the idea where you love someone so much you don’t see a flaw. This track is produced by Dylan Brady of 100 gecs and brings in that hyperpop and glitchy style. The hook of

I like, I like, I like, I like, I like everything about you

on this is repetitive but yet so catchy over this type of production and falls in line of the annoying stage of a relationship where everything your significant other does is cute and perfect. It literally feels like being so in love and high off euphoria and just enjoying the ride.

“7 years” might be my favorite track off this album and instead of the beginning of a relationship we get Charli pondering on how far her relationship has come in 7 years through the highs and lows. Another catchy ass song that makes you want to cheer on the journey. Charli’s vocals are pretty synthesized on this track but the energy/emotion she brings squeaks through and you can feel that moment with her. It’s also kinda a banger.

Moving our way to the halfway point of this album there isn’t a track that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. “Detonate” follows up with a shimmery instrumental and cute electronic notes. This song seems to be about bringing someone into your life so close but in the end hurting them because you’re confused and don’t want to be hurt.

I don’t trust myself at all

Why should you trust me?

I don’t trust myself alone

Why should you love me?

I enjoy the pre chorus above and it reflects on the issues one has personally and trying to figure out how someone can be apart of their own flaws.

How i’m feeling now takes a slight dip in quality in the next two tracks. “Enemy” is another song about letting someone in close and centers around the idea of keeping your friends close and enemies closer. This an an enjoyable track but doesn’t provide anything really new here. Along with that “I Finally Understand” feels a little boring on a very engaging record. Still follows the same sound of dance-pop but nothing sticks out to much.

“c2.0” pulls us right back in with glitchy and blown out production. This combination has beautiful yet extreme feel. The chorus only uses one word (clique) but the way it’s used over and over again while changing levels and played in the background throughout the verse is enticing. This song is super indicative of the quarantine time and missing your friends.

The backend of this album closes with 3 solid and enjoyable songs. “Party 4 u” is the idea of throwing a party and using it as an excuse to spend time with one person hoping they show up. The way this track ends is the best part with Charli’s vocals being on top of each other and creating a grand moment.

“Anthems” may be the most quarantine song on this album with lyrics of

I’m so bored

Wake up late, eat some cereal

Try my best to be physical

Lose myself in a TV show

Staring out to oblivion

All my friends are invisible

This song tropes around the idea of wanting to be back in normal life and party with late nights. It conveys how I think everyone felt during this time and just trying to occupy some of the lull in life with a faced paced dance instrumental playing. We get to end this album with “Visions” a song about having a certain outlook on the future. While the lyrics might insist on a better day to come the production hints more towards unknowingness. With what seems to end with techno production fades into a whirling siren sound.

This would seem to wrap up how i’m feeling now and leaving the listener with a sense of energy but confusion. My hope is that this album stands the test of time and doesn’t live in this quarantine moment. While there are clear and obvious references to the lockdown, the way Charli conveys a lot of them can be applied to how one can feel at any point in life. What makes this album one of my favorites of 2020 is how it allows me to reflect through the lyrics and forget through the production simultaneously.

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