Charli XCX “how i’m feeling now” Album Review
If you’ve seen Charli XCX live, you’ll be well aware that her live show is a colourful explosion of energetic pop. However, while her new album “how i’m feeling now”, musically at least, is an extension of that, lyrically, the UK pop favourite has written an album inspired very much by the lockdown situation she finds herself in. Written in just under two months while under lockdown, Charli has continued to keep herself busy during a time that has brought the entertainment industry to its knees.
With a self-imposed deadline to meet coupled with limited access to the usual array of recording tools, Charli took to the internet to create the material for “how i’m feeling now”. The thumping club anthem “pink diamond” kicks the album off as wave after wave of almost industrial electronics jarr away to Charli exclaiming “I just wanna go real hard” over the top. Those industrial electronics are still there during the follow-up track “Forever” however, the almost aggressive vocal display by Charli is now replaced with a more sugary-sweet pop innocence. For fans of her club-friendly pop fear not, the rest of the album heads down this route with tracks like “detonate” and “enemy” more ear-friendly than the aggressive opener. The slick electro-pop continues through “i finally understand”, a more personal track, while those distorted industrial effects make an appearance during “c2.0”, a track that will see dancefloors erupt when restrictions are lifted.
However, it’s during tracks like the pounding “anthems” where Charli lets her emotions show. Clearly written at a time when the effects of being in lockdown were hitting home, a repetitive dance beat thuds away as Charli unleashes her anxiety-laced lyrics. “I’m so bored” she confesses during the opening seconds of the track before admitting “sometimes I feel okay, some days I’m so frightened.”
It’s the anxiety of the lockdown-inspired lyrics which make “how i’m feeling now” a very current, personal album at times. Thankfully though, there are plenty of dancefloor fillers on here to keep fans of Charli’s energetic electro-pop happy. Hopefully it won’t be too long before restrictions are lifted and tracks like “pink diamond” and “c2.0” see clubs and festivals filled with sounds of Charli’s high-energy pop once again.