Review Summary: Despite the obvious challenges of writing a full length album in quarantine, Charli has delivered to an eager audience, who were with her every step of the way through the project's creation.
The slapped together nature of the lead single “forever” music video is misleading. The collage of fans’ videos requested by Charli in a twitter status has been meticulously crafted, evoking emotions from frustration ending in ceding joy. The scenes are completely disparate, ranging from everything to buzzcuts to concert mosh pits. The whole project associated with this song feels like a tribute to humankind – not just the idea of love but the sense of unity, and the certainty that we will pull through whatever crisis nature puts in our way. We are and never have been alone as humans, this music video simply cements that fact. The tune itself is a devilishly catchy vocal line layered on top of some ambitious production. The lyrics in this song are far from ground breaking, but they don’t need to be.
Charli set herself the lofty task of creating an album from nothing in the space of five weeks, and she has delivered. Charli said herself this album is going to be “her most collaborative” - over the course of the album’s rise to surface, fans have presented with endless demos of the songs’ embryonic stages, offering a true peek behind the curtain. This album is the first to be entirely produced, mixed and mastered in this period of “lockdown” and there are plenty of brilliant moments here. “Claws” features some instant ear grabbing synthesizers and punching bass, courtesy of Dylan Brady. The harmonies over the lead line also add to the hypnotic nature of Charli’s vocals here. “c2.0” interpolates lyrics from fan favourite “Click” off the fantastic full length album “Charli”. The first half shows off A G Cook’s production, layering the interpolated vocals with a distorted, in your face bass. Halfway through the song, he combines these appregiated baby vocals with an insanely catchy full verse from Charli. C2.0 is a pop song in its purest sense of the term and Charli is doing it justice. “i finally understand” has elements of UK garage with its off beat bass. The chorus contains some dreamy, brilliant harmonized synths combined with some searing white noise. The track wouldn’t be out of place acting as a gradual club floorfiller at 10pm.
The lyrics throughout this project could very arguably be considered lazy - “I like, I like, I like, I like, I like everything about you” are the only lyrics from the main chorus in claws. The song “enemy” also becomes pretty endearing with its never ending “you’re my enemy” vocal line. But apart from these incredibly minor issues, this album has cemented the persistent floating idea that Charli is willing to push the boundaries with, in essence, her creativity. “How I’m feeling now” perfectly encapsulates the idea that music brings us together, as it has constantly done throughout genereations and will do for centuries to come.