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Charli XCX and Lorde End the Rumors on a Refreshing Remix

Charli XCX and Lorde End the Rumors on a Refreshing Remix


To lots of people lately, “ambivalent pop music” is an oxymoron. Catchy hooks are likely to streamline complicated feelings into common, legible sentiments, briefly dividing the world into groups: the heartbreakers vs. the victims, the completely satisfied vs. the unhappy, the boys vs. the women. Infectious as they’re, most of the songs on Charli XCX’s incisive sixth album, “Brat,” refuse to take sides, making them tough to debate within the explainer-generating, Website positioning-baiting grammar of contemporary pop standom. How refreshing.

Charli by no means talked about Lorde by identify on the album’s knotty ninth monitor, “Girl, So Confusing,” however all indicators pointed to her being the considerably socially awkward, poetry-loving doppelgänger to whom the music is addressed. (“People say we’re alike, they are saying we’ve received the identical hair,” Charli sings, winking at these of us who keep in mind when an interviewer requested her about writing Lorde’s “Royals.”)

It was much less clear how we had been supposed to know this music within the restricted and polarized language of 2020s musical fandom, which pits feminine pop stars in opposition to each other like professional athletes whereas nonetheless insisting that they “assist girls” always with a benevolent grin. “Sometimes I feel you would possibly hate me, generally I feel I would hate you,” Charli babbles atop a strobe-lit A.G. Cook beat, one of many many “wait, are you even allowed to say that anymore?” moments on “Brat.” The music strains the vocabulary of clickbait. Is this a “diss monitor” or the beginning of a “feud”? Are the girlies preventing? And if they’re, what might Lorde probably be doing within the V.I.P. part of Charli’s latest present?

It’s difficult, and — blessedly — so is the shock remix on which Lorde seems, firing off her first new lyrics in three years. After Charli unloads her emotions and projections in that first verse, Lorde responds with the run-on depth of a late-night voice be aware: “You’d all the time say, ‘let’s exit,’ however then I’d cancel final minute,” the New Zealander confesses, “I used to be so misplaced in my head and scared to be in your photos.” She then reveals, devastatingly, that she’s been “at conflict with my physique,” insecure about fluctuations in her weight, and that the enigmatic aura she’s created is definitely a stifling protection mechanism. That she does all of it so succinctly in a cadence that effortlessly matches Cook’s beat ought to make everybody excited for her subsequent album, at any time when it arrives.

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