Charli XCX Review, How I'm Feeling Now: Taken the Risk
Updated: Jul 23, 2020
The so-called quarantine album, which was made from scratch in six weeks under lockdown is a piece of art.
The Los Angeles based artist, Charli XCX, has already caused scenes within the industry with her future pop-style music but her latest album has reached another level of excellence. Since lockdown began, celebrities have been sharing their personal lives more than ever from showing off their secret talents to live concerts in their own kitchens. But Charli took it to the next level and on April 6th she announced to her fellow 'Angels' (the nickname given to her fans) that she will be producing an entire album during the lockdown period.
From using the tools, she had access to in her house and online, she made an 11 tracklist album which takes fans on a journey fulfilled with isolation anxiety and memories which has become apparent over these strange times. With such a strict and ambitious deadline, Charli kept to her promise and throughout the project, shared early demos, sneak peeks of artwork and created outgoing music videos. The album opens with 'Pink Diamond', filled with mechanical and hard beats, reminiscing from her 2016 EP 'Vroom Vroom'. Followed by 'Forever', which gives fans an insight into her relationship with her current boyfriend Huck Kwong. The song shows how she wants to be in his life and the difficulties of a long-distance relationship. This is retained in the chorus of the song "I will always love you/ I'll love you forever/ Even when we're not together". As fans are thrown into her life, the next song 'Claws' which followed through from 'Forever', encaptivates you with stuttering lyrics of "I like, I like, I like..." and overdriven beat and crackling base. Ending with a repetitive outro of autotuned "Everything about you" finalising the killer pop.
The songs we can't forget about which solidifies the album ranges from fuzzy and synthetic bass within 'c2.0' and 'Detonate' through a slow dreamy soundtrack. Both of which encapsulates Charli's true feelings of quarantine. Weirdly both songs are excellently produced and enjoyable through her future pop genre. The third single of the album 'I Finally Understand' fits perfectly into the project with lyrics "My therapist said I hate myself really bad/You tell me it's fine, let me cry and hug it out”. This is contradicted by the upbeat fuzzy beats which become a true sense of the album. The song before last, 'Anthems', is a toxic, industrial picture of isolation through dark beats and fizzing productions with lyrics "Wake up late, eat some cereal/Try my best to be physical". The final track 'Visions' takes fans through a dream of memories through frenzied and pounding beats; emphasising the atmospheric feeling of a rave. Charli has successfully portrayed feelings we have never felt as we experience this masterpiece. 'How I'm Feeling Now' dominant theme is surrounded by her struggle of not seeing her boyfriend due to heavy schedules but since lockdown, the couple has become stronger than ever. Surprisingly the feelings throughout the album is a confusion that everyone has encountered. The album might be overwhelming, but Charli XCX has shown true brilliance through a collection of songs and shown anything can be done in any circumstances.