Despite album push-backs (including this mixtape), Charli XCX gifted fans with more of her alternative pop, in Vroom Vroom’s extension. Number 1 Angel is Charli XCX Continued, became available on all streaming platforms, including Charli’s official YouTube page, for free on March 10th with Asylum Records. Originally a project with producer A.G. Cook, founder of PC Music (known for distorting pop music and imagery), became a full-length mixtape, with ten songs and features. The project returns producer Sophie, other PC artists, and introduces budding names in the alt-music scene.
Overall, the mixtape include Charli’s voice as its own production element, and joining notable artists. Production highlights are “3AM (Pull Up),” featuring MØ, a grittier “One Last Time,” requesting a rendezvous with that special person at that special (some say magical) time, despite better judgment. There’s “White Roses,” expressing true love. The song could compare to “Yeah, I Said It” and the alternative to “Black Roses.” In “Roll With Me,” Charli prepares the center of the dance-floor asking if her chosen is ready; “Do you wanna roll with me, Do you wanna roll with me, say yeah.” But like the Vroom, Vroom EP, the beat sticks and stutters before darkening with lengthened hums and drops. All courtesy of Vroom Vroom’s primary producer Sophie, whose unnoticed sequencing takes the bass booming until its end.
There is no doubt the mixtape includes electronic takes on retro and standard radio sounds. There’s the infectious “Babygirl” with Uffie. The ripples, synth, and cowbells, all combining say, ‘80s Madonna, and the astute pop vocals from both ladies. This relaxing track has a lot going on — wide vocals and hazy production mimicking a soft breeze in the sun. And finally, “Lipgloss” with rapper CupcakKe, a fun, and chip-tune sound becomes bouncing bass and layered harmonies — creating a confident, and deliciously heavy listen. The background vocals, “Drip, drip, so slick, that’s my lipgloss,” almost sound like a comparison regarding Charli herself, and her latest track list, from start to finish.
Looking for unconventional pop for a late night drive, a gym workout or an impromptu gathering with a ton of friends? Then Charli’s Number 1 Angel is a solid effort for your playlist, until the full album later this year. Mixtapes are new outlets for signed artists to produce work, without added sales pressure, including Charli XCX. With Number 1 Angel she showcases her versatility from voice to ear; working along those she admires musically, and productions complimenting everyone’s individuality in today’s sound.
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‘Number 1 Angel’ is Charli XCX Continued. Image courtesy of Asylum Records.