Charli XCX
Crash


3.2
good

Review

by Kirk Bowman STAFF
March 18th, 2022 | 258 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: moving backwards and forwards

so the prevailing attitude regarding CRASH is that it is a major step down from charli's previous work. i don't blame anyone for thinking that, considering the first single was "good ones," a mediocre synthpop track produced by a mind behind "blinding lights" (another mediocre synthpop track) - seemingly with the goal, already failed, of hitting or coming close to the ridiculous commercial high of the latter track. "beg for you" was another track seemingly built on aping the success of another song, this time more literally as it heavily samples "cry for you," a far superior dance track. and on top of the worst singles charli dropped since "i finally understand," her rollout was messy, with NFTs and thin-skinned reactions to criticism and stans unable to decide if CRASH was designed to fail and get her out of her contract or not.

i'll just be upfront and say it - it's not that bad. in fact, it's good! this is a good album, and i do not regret listening to it.

there are low points for sure: "lightning" sounds like a youtube mashup of charli over some new order song with 372 views, "used to know me" continues the trend "beg for you" started of heavily leaning on a much better song with next to no innovation. some songs on here really give ammunition to the since-disproved argument that pop music simply copies other trends and makes it digestible. there's nothing wrong with that, but the way parts of CRASH do it is impressively lifeless. not ugly or bad persay, just really generic and dull. which, to be clear, is better! i'd much rather listen to a boring album than a bad one. and outside of one song ("lightning") nothing on here is bad.

in fact, there are several songs on here that are really good! the intro and outro - "crash" and "twice" - are some examples. the former is a brief nu-jack-swing jam with an unsurprising a.g. cook production credit that leads perfectly into the striking "new shapes" (featuring an excellent caroline polachek verse). and the latter, a pseudo-tropical bop is like a new retelling of "track 10" with its beautiful extended outro that gave me chills, proving that charli hasn't given up entirely on the weirder side of music. "move me" sounds to me like a genuine attempt at hitting the charts - i say that as a compliment - it's perhaps the barest track charli has sang on since Sucker, really showcasing her voice and revealing her soul to the listener in a way she hasn't for ages (a theme on this album). and to follow it up with "baby" - wow. what a perfect heel turn into her catchiest song in years.

as you've probably noticed, i find it hard to avoid comparing her work here to her discography. when she has multiple perfect projects and is the most innovative popstar out there, it's easy to just make a glorified album ranking. but let's take a step back. imagine, if you can, if this was charli's debut album. it wouldn't convert me to instant fanhood, but i'm sure i would focus on her more in the future, as it often shows enormous potential. "constant repeat" is one of those moments, a perfect hook over shimmering production and a great breakdown. and as a whole, the album has surprising coherence coming from the scattershot singles, forming a team of tracks that contribute to a very specific, chart-friendly version of her usual style. breaking a rule i set earlier in this paragraph, early buzz is comparing this album to Sucker but i think it has more in common with Number 1 Angel, with its friendly, concise form. the only difference is quality control. and it's a matter of a lot of filler, this is a brief and tight album. it's more about the average track quality. if every song was as good as "constant repeat," which sounds exactly like i imagine timbaland must have sounded in the early '00s, we'd have another masterpiece. unfortunately, we don't. but that doesn't mean it's not worth listening to and discovering your favorite tracks. CRASH might not be up there with her best, but it's still a good pop album, and worth trying for any fans of the genre. and maybe it's true what she has to say about it: "This album feels very cylical in many ways ... People can understand who I am now." and at her core, she is a popstar. so now's her chance to reinvent herself once more. "As major label artists crave to be more ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ and ‘involved’ and ‘left,’ I’m more interested in playing with the narrative of the opposite" she says to daniel lopatin (oneohtrix point never) - not coincidentally, another left-field artist playing with pop - explaining what anyone who's listened to this album knows by now. this is conventional, making a very sharp right turn from where she was to a place she has explored before. and that's just fine. i don't mind an artist exploring different fields after they master a style, which she certainly did. let's just hope next time it lands as well as she hopes this will.



Recent reviews by this author
leroy dariacoreNicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up
Marvin Gaye What's Going OnGuy Guy
The Avalanches We Will Always Love YouJessy Lanza All the Time
user ratings (200)
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
gryndstone (4)
A step back from the cutting edge? Not that bad a move....



Comments:Add a Comment 
granitenotebook
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2022


1140 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

sources for quotes (in order):

https://twitter.com/FckyeahCharli/status/1504495136151150593?s=20&t=bUpShD25ZWAvI8R3zxmccg

https://www.documentjournal.com/2022/01/charli-xcx-and-oneohtrix-point-never-are-rewriting-the-conditions-of-experimental-sound/



inb4 "is your shift key broken"

Gyromania
March 18th 2022


34578 Comments


3.2/5 - best new music for sure

JeetJeet
March 18th 2022


11325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, but Twice is amazing.

Digging: Gaelle - Transient

JeetJeet
March 18th 2022


11325 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

bruh you just hate caps lock huh?

z00sh
March 18th 2022


306 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review. Didn't really vibe with any of the singles on this except for 'baby'

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2022


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy fuck i love u for not using capital letters

SteakByrnes
March 18th 2022


27081 Comments


righteous review big kirk

Digging: Earthists. - Have A Good Cult

bigweinerdon
March 18th 2022


2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does this bang

Digging: Billy Woods - Aethiopes

Gyromania
March 18th 2022


34578 Comments


jesper you need a new avatar mate

so does granite. what a contrarian!

Tunaboy45
March 18th 2022


18069 Comments


eh

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2022


5705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I listened to Good Ones on repeat when it was out. Beg For You was nice too, but after a first listen most of the other songs were a blur.





Digging: Coheed and Cambria - Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind

AmericanFlagAsh
March 18th 2022


11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a lot better than I expected

Digging: Perfume Genius - Ugly Season

betlwedl
March 18th 2022


162 Comments


what are the perfect albums if i've only heard how i'm feeling now

Tundra
March 18th 2022


7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thought this was pretty great but fuck me I guess

porcupinetheater
March 18th 2022


9791 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jesus Tundra, literally the review and comment section so far has people more-or-less positive about the record, what hemorrhoid are you scratching open this time?

Gyromania
March 18th 2022


34578 Comments


tf?

rellik009
March 18th 2022


1932 Comments


"Jesus Tundra, literally the review and comment section so far has people more-or-less positive about the record, what hemorrhoid are you scratching open this time?"

this goes hard lmao

AmericanFlagAsh
March 18th 2022


11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jesus Porcupine

AmericanFlagAsh
March 18th 2022


11450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Title track is awesome, she really knows how to open albums

Tundra
March 18th 2022


7364 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Jesus Tundra, literally the review and comment section so far has people more-or-less positive about the record, what hemorrhoid are you scratching open this time?"

why are u so bad bro, and the rating is low on RYM too, the avg for this is not going to magically go up throughout the day I guarantee that lol



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy