Charli XCX Nails It with New Mixtape, ‘Number 1 Angel’

Charli XCX Nails It with New Mixtape, ‘Number 1 Angel’

Listen to her genre-bending mixtape that's full of girl power.

Listen to her genre-bending mixtape that's full of girl power.

Text: Jake Viswanath

To fill the time until the release of her third album, Charli XCX is giving fans a well-tuned mixtape that comes as somewhat of a follow-up to last year's EP, Vroom Vroom.

The mixtape hears Charli link up once again with PC Music figureheads SOPHIE, A.G. Cook, and Danny L Harle, meaning the pows, clinks, and hyper-sugary synths of PC are more prominent than ever. But don’t expect an entirely sticky-sweet affair. By mixing the essence of PC Music with old-school hip-hop melodies, snappy trap synths, and her effortless pop songwriting skills, she creates a versatile project that manages to transcend genre while retaining cohesion throughout, once again proving why she’s one of pop’s most exciting chameleons.

Solo standouts include the snappy hyper-pop moment “Roll With Me” and the emotional one-two punch of appropriately titled rave power ballad “Emotional” and the pulsing heartwarming pop classic “ILY2,” complete with obligatory synth-guitar solos. But it’s in the album’s collaborators where the meaning behind the mixtape lies.

In a bad-ass move, Charli features only female artists on the mixtape, including MØ on the catchy-as-hell car jam “3AM (Pull Up)”, Abra on the hypnotic ode to rave activities, “Drugs,” and Starrah and RAYE on the pumping electro-trap “Dreamer.” Amazingly, Charli also manages to wrangle MySpace icon Uffie on the '90s R’n’B jam “Babygirl” and rising rapper CupcakKe for standout rapid-fire verses on slinky and bass-heavy “Lipgloss.” Charli has always been a huge proponent of girl power, but by shining a light on other women’s talents, she manages to slyly comment on their under-appreciation in the music industry.

Number 1 Angel is a quiet but shining example of why we should never dismiss pop or electronic music as soulless, no matter how amazingly superficial it seems on the surface. If this is a sneak peek of what’s to come on the forthcoming album, we should expect this level of pop brilliance on steroids.

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